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Full text of "Our wonderful world [microform]"

Cibc Minivers U-^ of Chicago 




&bingbon &eltgiou Ctwcation Eexts 






WEEK-DAY SCHOOL - 



GEOr.G2 HRR3ERT BETTS, Editor 

-, . 300" 




Wonderful World 



BY 



EMERY LEWIS HOWE 

<\ 

With Class Room Adaptations by 
JEAN GERTRUDE HUTTON 



ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR 




THE ABINGDON PRESS 

NEW YORK CINCINNATI 





-..* 

1 I 





Copyright, 1927, by 
EMERY LEWIS HOWE 



All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, 
including the Scandinavian 



Printed in the United States of America 



The Bible text used in this volume is taken from the American Standard 
Edition of the Revised Bible, copyright, 1901, by Thomas Nelson & Sons, 
and is used by permission. 



770198 



DEDICATION 
TO MY DAUGHTER MARGARET 



CONTENTS 

PART I. BACK-YARD NEIGHBORS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. BUSY PLOWMEN 17 

II. ANT WORKERS 25 

III. ANT WORKERS 33 

IV. SPIDER WEAVERS 41 

V. SPIDERS AND THEIR NESTS 52 

VI. THE HONEY BEE 59 

VII. BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 70 

PART II. FEATHERED FRIENDS 

VIII. HUNTING BIRDS WITH EYES AND CAMERA. 81 

IX. BIRD GUARDIANS 93 

X. LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS 103 

PART III. GARDEN LIFE 

XI. How PLANTS GROW 115 

XII. A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 125 

XIII. ROOTS OF MANY FORMS 134 

XIV. PLANTS AND THEIR STEMS 141 

XV. GREEN LEAF FACTORIES 149 

XVI. A FIELD DAISY AND ITS FAMILY 157 

XVII. BEES AND FLOWERS . 164 

XVIII. FRIENDLY TREES 173 

XIX. FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 183 

XX. SEED HOMES 194 

XXI. How SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES ......... 203 

XXII. OUR DAILY BREAD 214 



6 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

PART IV. FOUR-FOOTED COMRADES 

PAGE 

XXIII. DOG COMPANIONS 227 

XXIV. A FAITHFUL SERVANT 237 

XXV. WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 246 

XXVI. WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 256 

XXVII. SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 263 

* 

PART V. THE EARTH AND ITS NEIGHBORS 

XXVIII. SKYLAND AND CLOUDLAND 275 

XXIX. NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 283 

XXX. A STORY OF THE ROCKS 293 

XXXI. WATER AND ICE 302 

XXXII. COUNTING UP: A REVIEW 311 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

GARDEN SPIDER'S WEB . 42 

GARDEN SPIDER 43 

HOUSE SPIDER 45 

TRAPDOOR SPIDER'S BURROW 48 

THE WONDERFUL HONEY FACTORY 60 

POLLEN BASKET 61 

BEE WORKER (Enlarged) 61 

WORKER CELLS . . . . 62 

CROSS SECTION OF COMB ; . . . 63 

QUEEN (Enlarged) 64 

DRONE (Enlarged) 65 

TONGUE (Enlarged) 70 

CABBAGE BUTTERFLY 71 

MILKWEED CATERPILLAR 73 

BUTTERFLY CATERPILLAR 74 

CHRYSALIS 74 

THE SWALLOWTAIL 75 

THE MILKWEED BUTTERFLY THE MONARCH.. 75 

ROBIN , 88 

THE JOY OF MAKING BIRD HOUSES no 

THE BUTTERCUP 117 

PARTS OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM 127 

BEES VISITING A FLOWER 131 

LEAVES 152 

HORSE CHESTNUT LEAF '. . 153 

GRASS BLADE 154 

LEAVES 154 

GRAPE LEAF : 155 

7 



$ OUR WONDERFUL WORLt) 

PAGE 

How MANY FIRES ARE STARTED 189 

SECTION OF TREE IN YOSEMITE PARK 191 

ACORN SEED 203 

PALESTINE ANEMONE, POPPY SEED JUMPER 204 

SEEDS How THEY TRAVEL AND WHY .'.".. . . . 205 

WINGED MAPLE SEED, WINGED ELM SEED. . . . 206 

COCONUT SEED 207 

BUR TRAMP SEED, BUR BRACT 209 

BOY SCOUT TROOP No. i 210 

WHEAT THE KING OF CEREALS . \ 216 

REAPING THE GOLDEN GRAIN '. . 220 

MESSENGERS OF MERCY 229 

WONDERFUL JUMPING MARE "VIOLETTA" 241 

THE AMERICAN BEAVER 249 

THE FLOCK GOING TO PASTURE 269 

THE EIGHT PLOMETS COMPARED IN SIZE ...... 288 

HALF DOME, YOSEMITE VALLEY 304 



TO THE BOYS AND GlRLS WHO READ THIS BOOK, 

GREETINGS: 

THESE pages have been written for your pleasure 
and to help you know and enjoy the world about 
you. You may think of this book, if you wish, 
as a passport that allows you to travel and come 
to know many new friends. Most boys and girls 
love to go on journeys; they feel that far too little 
opportunity for travel is theirs. They read of 
marvels in many lands, and wish to go "these won- 
ders to behold." Here is one way in which you 
may travel in new lands that lie near at hand; 
Here you may discover things as wonderful as in 
places far away. 

If you object, and say that one cannot travel 
far on foot, or find interesting wonders near at 
home, let me remind you of what one of our own 
great men once said. He wrote that one could 
find in his own dooryard, no matter where this 
might be, as great marvels as can be seen any- 
where, if only he had the eyes to see them! It is 
quite certain that many travelers in lands far off 
do not have seeing eyes, and come home from long 
journeys with little gain. Which would you choose 
to be, a person staying near home with a seeing 
eye, or one going a long distance with blind eyes? 

I said at the beginning that you might think of 
this book as a passport. You know travelers in 
foreign countries need a paper called a passport 
to gain entrance into the lands of other peoples. 
These pages will show the. way to enter into some 



io OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

territories that are strange to you. I hope they 
will help you to find out just how to conduct your- 
self so that you will be pleasing to the inhabitants 
whom you are visiting. Perhaps they will help 
you to know and understand them all a little better. 

There is another way in which you may think 
of this book. You may call it, if you please, a letter 
of introduction. If you are going to a new place, 
some friend may give you a letter to introduce 
you to someone who lives there. The letter does 
not tell you about the person; it just introduces 
you; it starts the acquaintance for you. You must 
do the rest of the getting acquainted yourself. 
You must learn for yourself what the stranger 
likes, how he lives, what things he has to teach 
you or show you, and what work he does. 

This book will introduce you to some creatures 
whom you may ' know slightly, but most of the 
getting really acquainted with them is left to you. 
This will be the best part of what the book does 
for you. 

Sometimes the stories will give the facts for you 
to see with your own eyes, and to think through 
by yourself. Sometimes you will see the wonders 
of God's world through the eyes of a boy and a 
girl who live in America, Don and Ruth Harris. 
Don and Ruth are just like you, wide awake, think- 
ing, interested, asking questions, and trying to 
find out all sorts of new things. You will, I hope, 
like to find out things with them. 

As you use the book, do not be like the travelers 
of whom I spoke: do not shut your eyes; do not 
shut even one eye! Do not feel sure you have found 
out all there is to know when you have looked 



GREETINGS n 

very sharply with your two real eyes at anything 
whatever! Put your mind's eyes at work, and 
keep them busy! Ask questions when you need to 
ask them. Most of all, think, and then think, 
and then THINK again! Try to see how one story 
fits into another. Try to see how one fact in God's 
world fits, not into one other fact, but into all 
other facts. You may not see just how this is at 
first, but the more you think and the more you 
find out, the more you will be sure that this is true. 

For an illustration: Perhaps you ate a fine ripe 
peach for lunch to-day. After you have read the 
seeds story, you will think that the peach came to 
you partly because it did its seed up in such an 
attractive package, and you may suppose that you 
have learned all this book has to tell you of the 
peach. Let me set you a question or two! 

How did the earthworms help the peach you ate? 

Do you think it possible that the birds had any- 
thing to do with your peach? 

Could beavers, dogs, or horses, have helped grow 
the peach? 

What did the skyland helpers do for it? How 
many of them may have helped? 

Did ants, or bees, or butterflies, have any share 
in the work? 

Suggest a way in which an old glacier may have 
helped. 

Too many questions, do you say? No, no! It 
is questions that make study interesting. It is 
by searching for the answers to questions that you 
learn new facts of interest and use. So set your- 
self to work; enjoy your book; but, better, enjoy 
the wonders of your own back yard; get acquainted 



12 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

with the birds and the insects about you. Lea 
of the animal friends that live near you. Look 
to the skies, and get to know the stars by nan 
Seek in the common materials around you for we 
der stories; and you will find them on every hai 
You will indeed "speak to the earth, and it sh 
teach you," for you will find that "in all th< 
the hand of the Lord hath wrought." 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

THE author is indebted to numerous nature students 
and writers, and desires to express his thanks to them, 
but especially to the following authors and publishers 
for their courtesy and kindness in giving permission for 
use of and reference to material copyrighted by them. 

To Anna Botsford Comstock, Cornell University, for 
use of material in her valuable Handbook of Nature 
Study. 

To Doubleday, Page & Company, publishers, New 
York, for reference JLO Bob, Son of Battle, by Alfred 
Oliphant. 

To E. P. Button & Company, publishers, New York, 
for facts about Red Cross Dogs, from Bruce, and to Albert 
Payson Terhune, author of Bruce. 

To Harper Brothers, New York, for reference to story 
of Little Gray Friar Bobby, by Eleanor Atkinson. 

To Houghton, Mifflin Company, Boston, for reference 
to Longfellow's "The Birds of Killingworth." 

To Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, publishers 
of the copyright works of Jean Henri Fabre, for facts 
about the spider's telegraph line from ''Insect Adventures." 

To F. E. Compton & Company, Chicago, for per- 
mission to draw material and scientific facts from Comp- 
ton' s Pictured Encyclopedia. 

To the National Geographic Society, Washington, 
D. C., for permission to quote portions of paragraphs 
regarding the intense heat of the sun, and the distance 
from the earth to Sirius from article "Interviewing the 
Stars," by Dr. William Joseph Showalter, . in National 
Geographic Magazine, January, 1925. 

To D. Appleton & Company, New York, for use of 
certain facts and material in The Formation of Vegetable 
Mould Through the Action of Worms, by Charles Darwin. 

13 



14 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

To the United States Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, D. C., for pamphlet on Forestry. To the 
American Nature Association, Washington, D. C., for 
permission to use material from Nature Magazine. 

The author is also greatly indebted for the loan of 
several original photographs in Nature Magazine, and he 
wishes to give credit to the artists of these photographs 
and certain other sketches. E. L. H. 



PART I 
BACK- YARD NEIGHBORS 



LESSON I 
BUSY PLOWMEN 

WHAT a fine morning after last night's shower! 
The grass is fresh and green. The flowers are decked 
with sparkling dewdrops. Bees are humming. 
Birds are busy. The rain-washed earth has a de- 
lightful smell. It is just the time to make a friendly 
call and become better acquainted with some of 
our good neighbors. 

Do you say it is too early to visit Mrs. Brown? 
You are sure that Mrs. Smith is too busy to be 
interrupted just now? 

You quite misunderstand me. I am not plan- 
ning to go with you to see friends who live in houses 
like yours or mine, or to call on neighbors who 
talk as you and I talk. 

The neighbors I am thinking of live in a very 
simple way, generally quite out of our sight. They 
do their work with no thought of what it means 
to us. But they are following the laws of the 
heavenly Father, who made .them, as he made all 
things. In countless numbers, and for countless 
years, these helpers have been carrying out their 
part in God's great plan, though we seldom stop 
to think how much of our comfort and pleasure 
we owe to these busy workers who toil in the way 
the Creator has set for them. 

I see you 'do not know what I am talking about. 
Come with me along the garden path, and we may 

17 



i& OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

chance upon one of these busy plowmen; we will 
stop and get acquainted with him. 

Ah, here is one! Let me introduce Plowman 
Earthworm, a tireless worker. What? you thought 
it only a horrid, wriggling worm? You supposed 
it good for nothing but fish bait? Had the earth- 
worm not done his task well, I suspect you would 
have had no breakfast. It is due to his work very 
largely that you could enjoy that juicy lettuce, 
those fine strawberries, the nice cereal and the 
rich yellow milk, or, for that matter, any of the 
vegetable food you ever ate! Did you really think 
that an earthworm had filled the purpose for which 
it was put into the world when it had helped you 
catch a fish dinner? No, indeed! 

But you need not feel too much disturbed that 
you have not known sooner the very important 
work of Plowman Earthworm. The wisest men 
living did not know much about these plowmen a 
few years ago. Then Charles Darwin, a great 
English scholar, began a very exact and pains- 
taking study of these small creatures. Mr. Darwin 
measured off plots of ground, and counted the 
earthworms he found in each; he counted the bur- 
rows he found; he counted the leaves the worms 
carried down; he weighed the earth thrown up by 
them. In these ways he learned many most inter- 
esting things about these busy helpers who work 
out of sight and so quietly that we seldom think 
of them, except when we wish to go fishing! 

You probably know' that many animals are im- 
portant soil builders. What would your answer be 
if I were to ask you to name the most important 
of them all? I am sure you would speak of a half 



BUSY PLOWMEN 19 

dozen before you would think of putting Plowman 
Earthworm at the head of the class. But that is 
just what Mr. Darwin answered! He concluded 
that the earthworm does a vast deal of soil building, 
of soil draining, of opening soil to the air, and of 
making passages through which the tender roots 
of growing plants can easily find their way, and 
where they can get their food. Besides this, the 
worms chew up bits of leaves and blades of grass, 
and take them to the burrows under the surface. 
All of this lightens the soil, and makes it more 
porous. The worm breaks up the soil exactly as 
does the farmer's plow, only much more perfectly 
and completely. 

Perhaps some one has told you that the plow 
was one of the first tools invented by man. You 
certainly know that it has been one of the most 
valuable tools he has ever had. At first the plow 
was probably nothing but a crooked stick, or a 
forked branch; and you have all seen the pictures 
of the fine steel plows and tractors that the farmer 
of to-day uses. Sometimes one or two horses will 
draw the plow. Often, on large farms or ranches, 
four horses will be used. Many farmers to-day have 
put aside the horse-drawn plow for one that is 
driven by gasoline. 

Are you thinking of these great plows, and won- 
dering how a soft creature like an earthworm can 
force itself through the hard soil and turn it up to 
the air and the sun? It surely must be very difficult. 
Indeed, it would be impossible if the worm tried 
to force itself through, but this is not the way it 
takes it eats its way through. Instead of rolling 
up little pellets of eartji and taking them to the 



20 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

surface, as do many of the insects, the earthworm 
swallows the earth. Then, in a gizzard much like 
the one you have seen taken from the Thanks- 
giving turkey, only very, very much smaller, the 
earth is ground up fine. Out of the ground-up 
mass the earthworm takes the decayed vegetable 
matter for its food. The rest of the earth is cast 
out in the form of little mounds or pellets. You 
can find these almost any morning, in the grass, 
or along the garden path. 

Of course you are ready to say that the amount 
of soil building that can be done by a few earth- 
worms is so small that it is hardly worth counting. 
I suspect that the worms themselves, if they had 
minds and could think, and if they could once 
see how very big the earth is, especially when 
measured by earthworm measures, would grow 
quite discouraged, and be ready to say, "It never, 
never can be done!" 

But you are overlooking one fact, and that is 
the number of earthworms that are all the time 

* 

plowing, plowing, plowing. You remember Mr. 
Darwin counted the earthworms he found in meas- 
ured pieces of ground. In this way he was able 
to make a pretty good guess as to how many worms 
might be found in any section. How many do you 
suppose he figured lived in an acre of ground? 
Five hundred? A thousand? Perhaps as many as 
five thousand? All wrong! He figured that there 
are more than fifty thousand in an acre of ordinary 
ground, and perhaps in rich land there may be a 
half million to an acre. 

More than this, earthworms seem to be found 
in most parts of the world. They are at work all 



BUSY PLOWMEN 21 

the time. Our farmers can plow only when there 
is little or no snow, and when the ground has just 
the right amount of moisture. Not so Plowmen 
Earthworms! When it is warm and moist* they 
stay near the surface. Let the weather turn cold 
and damp, and do you suppose they take a rest? 
No, indeed! They simply eat down deeper, where 
the wet and chill cannot reach them, and keep on 
plowing. 

You can see that a half million creatures, even 
as soft and weak as earthworms, can accomplish 
a great deal of work on an acre of ground, if they 
are always at it. Recall that Mr. Darwin weighed 
the earthworm castings he gathered up on meas- 
ured parts of the land, and you will see how he 
could figure the amount of soil the worms would 
deposit in a year. You will not dare guess this 
time, so I will tell you that he estimated that as 
much as ten tons might be cast out in a single year. 
That is so much that you can hardly imagine it. 
Perhaps you can figure how many boys or girls 
as heavy as you are would be required to weigh 
ten tons, and you will have an idea of the weight 
of earth the worms throw out. 

You must remember that the castings from the 
worms are soil ground up very fine, and this makes 
the best fertilizer. When some parts of the 
earth have as much as a fifth of an inch of this 
deposited over it in a year, do you not think it is 
worth a great deal? Do you think there is any 
truth, then, in the old notion that more worms 
are found in rich soil than in poor soil? 

Did you ever find in an old pasture a stone that 
was nearly buried? How do you suppose it came 



22 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

to be so nearly hidden? I often saw such stones 
when I was a child, and wondered if they had sunk 
deep into the ground just because they were so 
heavy. But when I turned them over, I found 
they did not weigh so much as I had thought. It 
was a long time before I found out that the busy 
Plowmen Earthworms had been burying the stone! 
First, as you can see, they worked under the stone. 
As they hollowed out little tunnels, and opened up 
the soil, the stone would sink a bit deeper. Then 
the worms would deposit their castings around the 
stone, and so build up the earth about it. When 
this had gone on for a number of years, the stone 
began to sink out of sight. 

As you will learn in a later lesson, all soil is made 
from rock that has been broken into bits. This 
takes many long years, and many workers have a 
part in the process. Wind and water, frost and 
sun, all help. There are other helpers, too, and, 
of course, you will not be surprised to find the 
earthworms are among them. How can they work 
on rocks? Part of the rock-breaking comes through 
the action of acids that are made when vegetable 
matter decays. When the earthworms open and 
loosen the soil, they make the passage for these 
acids easier, and give channels that let them trickle 
down to the rocks. In this way the worms really 
aid in breaking up rocks on which their soft bodies 
could have no effect. 

If you look very closely at the body of one of 
these little plowmen, you will find no eyes at all; 
of what use would eyes be to a creature that spends 
most of its life under the surface of the earth, in 
the dark? Eyes would be very troublesome, in 



BUSY PLOWMEN 23 

fact. Nor will you find any true brain, though 
there is a small nervous system, a central nerve 
spot, with a chain of smaller nerve spots extending 
through the body. Feet, which you would suppose 
very useful to a plowman of any sort, are also 
wanting. Instead, the earthworm has four double 
rows of spines set into the rings of which the body 
is made. These help the worm in moving, and are 
used to cling to the burrow for safety when you 
are trying to pull out of the earth a worm for your 
bait can, or when a hungry robin is looking for his 
breakfast. 

Can you think of any creature in all God's won- 
derful world that does a bigger or more important 
work with as few and as simple tools as belong to 
the earthworm? Only a worm, working blindly in 
the dark, without noise, without confusion, per- 
sistently and patiently burrowing its way through 
the darkness and the damp I It is a simple, quiet, 
and an unseen part that our little plowmen play. 
Humble as it is, it is a part of God's great plan 
for the good of all his creatures. All plant and 
animal life is benefited by the work of the worms; 
and man, with all his intelligence and skill, would 
find it hard, if not entirely impossible, to accom- 
plish the task which is so well done by these 
helpers. 

When you next look at an earthworm and when 
you remember how this small and seemingly unim- 
portant creature has been chosen to do so vast 
and important a bit of work, perhaps you will 
think of God's choice of the weak things to put 
to shame the things that are strong. And maybe 
after thinking about all this we shall all be a little 



24 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

slow to think of anything in God's creation as little 
or weak or of no account. 

An experiment: 

Fill a small box with soil, and place three or more 
earthworms on top of this. Cover the box with a lid. 
When the worms have burrowed beneath the soil, scatter 
a little grass, and a few leaves, both dry and fresh, on 
the surface. Observe from day to day, and record in 
your notebook what the worms do. Sprinkle the earth 
to keep it from getting too dry. Care for the material 
for five or six weeks, and note if vegetable mold is formed. 

Something to do: 

1. Draw a picture of an earthworm. 

2. Learn a little more of the earthworm's story. You 
will find it in the encyclopaedia, a nature book, or the 
Book of Knowledge. 

3. Write or tell the story of "The Earthworm's Help." 

4. Find, if you can, places where earthworms are at 
work, and examine the worms. Do you find their bur- 
rows or tunnels in the soil? 

To learn: i Corinthians i. 27; or Zechariah 4. loa. 

God chose the foolish things of the world, that he 
might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose 
the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame 
the things that are strong; and the base things of the 
world, and the things that are despised, did God choose. 
z Corinthians i. 27, 28. 



LESSON II 
ANT WORKERS 



"MOTHER, mother," called Ruth, in great excite- 
ment, "here is a line of ants running across the 
floor." 

"And then going up the wall," added Don. 

"Dear me! we can't allow that," said mother, 
coming to look. . "They must have found some- 
thing they like to eat. Let us follow the line and 
see where they are going." 

"Along the wall to the door, then into Ruth's 
room and see! up on your table and into your 
candy box, Ruth!" cried Don, as he traced the 
line of busy ants. 

"The horrid things!" exclaimed Ruth, peeping 
into the candy box, where a bevy of little black 
ants were swarming over the bonbons. "How did 
they ever find my candy, and how did they get 
into the box?" 

"You did not put the lid on well," said mother, 
"and as ants send out scouts to look for food, they 
very soon found such a treasure as your candy. 
You know how careful I am to keep the sugar, 
syrup, and other sweet things in the pantry in 
tightly covered containers." 

"I wish they had let my candy alone," said Ruth, 
busily removing the intruders, "but I must say 
I think they were clever to find it." 

"Mother," asked Don, "why have these ants no 

25 



26 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



wings? I am sure that those I looked at the other 
day in the yard had wings." 

"Those were father and mother ants," replied 
mother. "These are worker ants. At certain 
seasons of the year the father and mother ants 
come out of the nests in great numbers, and fly 
away together. When the mother ant comes back 
she begins to dig her burrow, or nest, in the ground. 
Here she will live all the rest of her life; never again 
will she need her wings. As they are very much 
in the way in digging, she does a strange but sensi- 
ble thing she bites them off!" 

"Ugh! doesn't it hurt?" asked Ruth. 

"Probably not," replied mother. 

"Did these worker ants bite their wings off too?" 
asked Don. 

"No," said mother, "they never had wings. 
They have always been workers, and you may 
think of them as soldiers, nurses, milkmaid's, under- 
takers, diggers and engineers, or grocers, according 
to what they do." 

"Oh, mother, is it a fairy tale you are telling?" 
asked Ruth. 

"It sounds like a regular city," laughed Don. 

"It is not a fairy tale, and it is much like a city," 
replied mother. "Ants are called social insects 
because they live in companies, and the wonderful 
way in which they divide the work of the colony 
and carry on their affairs has made some people 
almost sure that they think and reason." 

"Do tell us about it," urged Don. "I would like 
to hear about the soldier ants." 

"I'd rather hear about the nurses and the milk- 
maids," said Ruth. . 



ANT WORKERS 27 

"There is time to tell you part of the story," 
smiled mother. "First, you must understand there 
are nearly as many things to be done in an ant 
town as there are in a man town, and the ants go 
about it all with much order and what seems like 
very good sense. There are soldiers who guard 
the colony; perhaps you might think of them as 
somewhat like our police. There are those who 
go out to hunt for and bring back the food; I was 
thinking of them when I spoke of grocer ants a 
minute ago. Of course they do not sell the food, 
but they surely supply it. Then other ants dig 
the tunnels and lay out the runways, or burrows, 
and sometimes these are very elaborate, so we may 
indeed think of the ants who do this work as engi- 
neers. Dead ants are taken out of the burrow by 
other workers and are buried; so you may think 
of the ant colony as having undertakers." 

"And the milkmaid ants, mother?" reminded 
Ruth. 

"That does sound like a fairy tale, but it is not," 
assured mother. . "Ants really keep a little creature 
that they use much as man uses cows. If you will 
bring the magnifying glass from the. library table, 
Don, perhaps we can see a 'cow' on the rosebush 
here." 

;, Mother selected a leaf or two from the bush, and 
Don, looking at them through the glass, exclaimed: 

"Why, there is one of those little plant lice that 
makes your rosebush all sticky." 

"Is that the ants' cow?" asked Ruth, peering in 
her turn through the glass. 

"Yes," said mother, "that is what you may con- 
sider it. Some people call these wee creatures plant 



28 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

lice. Others speak of them as the green fly. The 
true name is aphides. There are many kinds of 
aphides, just as there are many races of people 
Russians, Indians, English, or French. Your glass 
is perhaps not strong enough to allow you to see 
clearly the mouth of the aphis, but if you will 
look at the enlarged drawing of one that you can 
find in the encyclopaedia, you will see that it is 
just the right shape for piercing the leaves and 
sucking the sap. That same drawing shows two 
little spikes at the end of the body. Some wise 
men say when the ant wishes to 'milk' a 'cow' it 
strokes with its feelers these little spikes and the 
sides of the aphis. Then drops of a sweet sticky 
substance ooze out. Other wise men say the aphis 
manufactures the milk within its own body, and 
secretes it as the bee does the honey, and the ant 
simply gathers it up." 

"Oh, mother," said Ruth, "I wish I could see 
an ant milk her cow!" 

"It is an interesting performance to watch," 
agreed mother; "and if you are patient, you may 
see which is correct. The ants take the best care of 
these little cows. They feed them well. Some 
people say that the aphides tell their caretakers 
when they are hungry by patting them. Some- 
times the ants build a little shed of a sort to pro- 
tect the cows. They handle them gently, and take 
them to feed on the sort of food the aphides like 
best." 

"This rose leaf is all sticky," announced Don, 
who had been running his fingers back and forth 
over the leaf while mother talked. "What makes 
it so?" 



ANT WORKERS 29 

"It is the honey-dew from the aphides," replied 
mother. "Of course it hurts the leaves to have 
the sap sucked from them by the hungry little 
aphides, but almost as much harm is done by the 
honey-dew, for it clogs the pores of the leaves. 
The dust settles in it too, till, after a time, the 
poor leaves cannot breathe at all, and the bush 
may sicken, or even die." 

"Do aphides live on any bushes besides the 
roses?" asked Don. 

"Indeed they do!" replied mother. "If it were 
only the roses they live on, perhaps it would not 
be so bad, though we should miss our lovely blooms. 
But each kind of aphis has its favorite food. Some 
of them will thrive nowhere but on a cabbage plant. 
Others prefer to settle down, on beans. Some may 
choose a grain or a fruit or lettuce, but all of them 
act in the same way. One sort, the kind that 
settles only on corn roots, does so much harm that, 
if nothing were done about it, you soon would have 
no corn muffins for breakfast!" 

"Oh!" cried Don. "I shouldn't like that at all, 
mother. Do tell me what can be done, and I'll help." 

For answer, mother searched for a minute among 
the leaves of the rosebush and then came back to 
open her hand slowly before the eyes of the children. 
On the palm lay a little bug with a red back prettily 
marked in black. 

"A lady-bug!" cried Ruth. 

"But what can a lady-bug have to do with ants 
and their troublesome cows?" demanded Don. 

"That is just what a great many men asked a 
great many times," replied mother, "and the 
answer at first was always, 'Nothing!' But some 



30 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

men were not sure this was the right answer, and 
they carried on very careful experiments with ants 
and aphides and lady-bugs, and by and by they 
learned the whole story." 

"Do tell us, mother," urged Don. 

"These men," answered mother, "found that the 
ladyrbugs lay their eggs on the plants where the 
aphides live. Why? Because lady-bug eggs change 
or hatch, not into lady-bugs, but into little larvae 
whose favorite food is aphides. As soon as they 
hatch they begin to eat aphides, and when they have 
eaten all they possibly can hold they change into 
what are called pupce. After a little, they change 
again, and then they are lady-bugs." 

"How many aphides can a lady-bug eat?" asked 
Ruth. 

"It is supposed that a good, healthy lady-bug 
with a growing appetite will eat about forty aphides 
in a day and keep it up for four or five weeks. But 
this is not all. The mother lady-bug may lay as 
many as fifty eggs every day. These eggs will 
hatch into larvae, or hungry little grubs, in any- 
where from three to six days. You do not need to 
take 'your paper and pencil to find out that they 
make way with enough aphides to really count!" 

"Hurrah for the lady-bug!" cried Don. "I 
always thought her a cunning, clean little creature, 
but I did not know she is such a useful one! I will 
be more careful than ever not to hurt one after this!" 

"You may well be," answered mother, "for she 
is far more useful than I have had time to tell you. 
Owners of California fruit orchards and orange 
groves, growers of cabbage, lettuce, peas, corn, 
grain, and fruit of many kinds, all depend on the 



ANT WORKERS 31 



busy little lady-bug to fight the aphides for them 
and to give their crops a chance to grow." 

"Where do the little aphides come from in the 
first place?" queried Ruth. 

"They hatch in the spring from eggs laid in the 
fall on the chosen food plant. Then these aphides 
produce more aphides like themselves in about two 
weeks, and these aphides in turn produce others. 
This keeps up all summer, when the late aphides 
lay eggs that can pass the winter without the food 
that would be needed for creatures like themselves." 

"And where do the ants come in?" asked Don, 
interestedly. 

"The ants are on the lookout for these eggs, and 
take them to their nests. They know that their 
future supply of honey-dew depends on the number 
of eggs they find, and the care they give them, so 
they tend the eggs carefully, and when the aphides 
hatch they feed them and watch over them much 
as grandfather looks after his herd of fine cows." 

"And the more ants there are, the more cows 
they need," said Don. 

"Exactly!" replied mother. "Ants produce a vast 
number of eggs daily, which soon grow into ants. 
The colony needs more arid more food as it grows 
in numbers, and honey-dew is a favorite food. So 
it is no wonder ants take great care of their cows, 
and give them every chance to grow well and to 
increase in numbers." 

"I think the ants are very wise and clever," 
said Ruth, "but I do not think they are very good 
neighbors. They are not like the earthworms; 
they do not help at all. They do not do as much 
as the spider. Aren't they any good at all, mother?" 



32 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Remember, my dear," replied mother, "that 
they were created by our heavenly Father, and that 
'in wisdom he has made them all/ Perhaps you 
have not found out all that is to be learned of the 
ants. If you knew all about them, you might wish 
to change your opinion of them. In God's great 
plan for his wonderful world, every little creature 
as well as every big one has a part to play, a work 
to do. Suppose you and Don try to find out before 
our next story time what service these little neigh- 
bors have to perform." 

Something to do: 

Make a study of the ants and their ways. One 
method is this : 

1. Find an ant hill, and drive a spade into one side of it, 
lifting it and thus turning over the dirt of which the hill 
is made. With a large spoon lift a quantity of the earth 
of the hill, together with the eggs, babies, queens, and 
workers, into a wide-mouthed jar. 

2. Place a brick or a flat stone in the middle of a large 
pan of water. On this put a slate or a flat board. Pour 
the contents of the jar on the slate or board, and smooth 
it down. Cover with a sheet of glass of the same size 
as the board, putting a thin board over the glass to shut 
out the light, as ants prefer to work in the dark. 

3. Place some particles of food on the board. If the 
ants are left overnight, a reconstructed nest will prob- 
ably be found in the morning, and it will be possible to 
observe the colony at work. Make sure that the pan 
is large enough, and the water deep enough, to prevent 
the escape of the ants. 

To learn: Proverbs 30. 24-28. 

For in him were all things created, in the heavens 
and upon the earth. Colossians i. 16. 



LESSON III 

ANT WORKERS 

II 

"I HAVE found out one good thing the ants do," 
began Don, eagerly, as soon as he had placed the 
cushions in the big swing for mother. "They stir 
up the earth, loosen it and make it fine, something 
like the earthworms." 

"Father helped me find another service," added 
Ruth at once. "He read from one of his big books 
about Sir John Lubbock, who learned eVer so many 
things about ants. One day when he was watch- 
ing a nest he counted twenty-eight dead insects 
brought in in just one minute. Father says that 
disposing of these dead bugs is a real service." 

"What do they do with the insects?" asked Don. 

"Eat them for meat, just as we eat the game our 
hunters bring in," said Ruth, very promptly. 

"Why, the Bible is just right, then," cried Don. 
"What was our verse? Let me see! Yes, I have it! 

'Go to the ant, thou sluggard; 
Consider her ways, and be wise: 
Which having no chief, 
Overseer, or ruler, 
Provideth her bread in the summer, 
And gathereth her food in the harvest.' 

I am not sure about the harvest, though," he 
added, a bit doubtfully. 

33 



34 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Father told me about that too," said Ruth. 
"Some ants do really harvest. They gather the 
grain they like, and strip off the covering, so that 
there is sometimes quite a little pile of shucks on 
the outside of their nest. And some ants are real 
farmers. They take care of a kind of wild grain 
'ant-rice,' some persons call it. They clear away 
the grass around a small clump of the 'rice' and 
make little paths to their nests. Then, when the 
grain is ripe, they carry the good kernels to their 
burrows and store it away for food." 

"I should think it would sprout and grow if they 
stored it under the ground," said Don. 

"Father didn't say anything about that," said 
Ruth. 

"People puzzled over that point for a long time," 
said mother, "and then a student who watched 
very carefully discovered just what the ants did. 
Of course the grain sprouted, and when the ants 
found this going on, they bit off the little shoots." 

"Just as grandfather sprouts the potatoes in the 
spring!" cried Don. "Aren't they the wise little 
creatures?" 

"Now guess how they keep the grain from rotting 
under the ground," said mother. 

"I am sure they find some way," said Ruth, 
trying hard to think what this might be. 

"They could dry it," suggested Don, slowly. 

"That is exactly what they do!" said mother. 
"When the grain begins to get too damp they carry 
it out and spread it in the sunshine until it is quite 
dry." 

"I know!" cried Don. "Just like their eggs. 
You should have seen them come tumbling up out 



ANT WORKERS 35 



of their nest by the tree when I watered the lawn 
last evening. Every last ant of them was carry- 
ing an egg." 

"I suspect those were not eggs that you saw," 
said mother. "The eggs are very small, and what 
the ants were carrying up were no doubt the 
larvae." 

"I don't quite understand what larvae are, 
mother," said Ruth. "Are they just eggs?" 

"Not quite," answered mother. "You remember 
we spoke of the eggs hatching into larvae when we 
were talking of the aphides yesterday. Many 
insects go through several changes in their lives, 
and among such insects are the ants. The ant 
lays eggs. These change into larvae, which are a 
kind of legless, and almost helpless, worm. The 
larva is always hungry; its chief business seems to 
be to eat all it can get, and it does this with a will. 
Of course it grows. After it can eat no more, it 
changes into a cocoon, an oval silk-covered cocoon, 
from which the ant will come out after a time. 
It was either the larvae or these cocoons that Don 
saw the ants carrying up out of the way of 
what no doubt seemed to them a very terrible 
flood." 

"Were they nurse ants that were carrying up 
the cocoons, do you suppose?" asked Don. 

"I am sure all the nurse ants were helping," 
answered mother, "though other ants too may have 
been assisting in such a catastrophe. But the 
eggs, the larvae, and the cocoons are the special 
care of the nurse ants. They move the eggs from 
place to place to keep them always at the right 
warmth. They feed the larvae, who cannot feed 



36 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

themselves. Some people think they even coax 
them to spin their silk cocoons, by gentle strokings 
and pattings. At any rate, it is known that they 
watch over the cocoons, and when the little ant 
is ready to come from the case, the nurses help it, 
wash it, unfold its wings or legs, and assist it to 
get started. They take care of it till it is quite 
strong enough to be a nurse ant itself." 

"And does the nurse ant always stay a nurse 
ant?" asked Ruth. 

"No," answered mother. "After a time their 
skin hardens into a shiny armor, and then they 
are worker ants. They may go out foraging for 
food. Perhaps they find a crumb, a bit of honey, 
or a great treasure like your box of candy. They 
carry home as big a burden as they can and tell 
the other workers about their find. Then the 
procession begins to move, with the results that we 
found yesterday when we caught them helping 
themselves to your candy!" 

"They go a long way to find food, I think," com- 
mented Don. "For a tiny thing like an ant to come 
all the way to Ruth's candy box is like your going 
to the city for a loaf of bread." 

"Yes," agreed mother, "it is a very long distance 
for a little creature. But there are ants in western 
Africa that travel very much greater distances, and 
in much greater numbers, for food. They are 
sometimes called the army ants, or the driver ants, 
and they come in millions and millions!" 

"Oh dear!" gasped Ruth. "Whatever do the 
people do?" 

"Sometimes they curl up on beds or chairs, and 
sometimes they just move out. But rats and cock- 



ANT WORKERS 37 

roaches and other things of that sort do not hesitate 
at all. They move out as soon as they realize the 
ants are coming. Missionaries and other persons 
who have seen the ants make an attack say that 
they come in lines of four or six abreast, going 
ahead with almost the regularity of an army. Here 
and there they send scouts out to one side or the 
other. N They find a place to enter the house, and 
it looks as if they left guards to take care of the 
entrance. The ants that go into the house run here 
and there into every spot, and when they leave 
they have cleaned every single corner of spiders, 
larvae, and insects of all sorts. If they encounter 
one that is too large for a single ant to overcome, 
others come to help, and not an insect can escape. 
People report that it is a curious sight to see this 
great army of ants returning, each laden with booty, 
along a path which they have worn quite smooth 
by the tramping of their tiny feet." 

"How long do they stay?" queried Ruth. 

"Possibly only one night, possibly a little longer 
in some cases. When they have gone the rightful 
owner comes back to his house, knowing very well 
that every nook and crevice will be cleaned of the 
last trace of vermin that hides in walls or under 
floors." 

Ruth shook her head doubtfully. "That sounds 
as if those ants were worth a great deal, but I'd 
rather have Sarah do our house-cleaning," she said. 

"Mother," asked Don, "do ants really talk? 
You have spoken two or three times about their 
telling one another about supplies." 

"Even the wisest men do not know all about the 
ant." answered mother, "but some very interesting 



38 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

studies have been made, and it seems quite certain 
that ants can communicate with one another very 
readily. No one has ever suggested that they speak, 
as you and I understand speaking. But look sharply 
at these little fellows under the glass, and tell me . 
what you see growing out of the head part of the 
body." 

"Two slender things, feelers, I suppose you'd call 
them," answered Don. 

"That name will do very well," smiled mother. 
"Those feelers are jointed, and are made up of 
parts called segments. It has been proved pretty 
thoroughly by experiments that the sense of touch 
in one of these segments is very keen. In another 
segment, the sense of smell is very sharp, and 
it is supposed that an ant who goes a long way 
from home for food does not see her way home; 
she does not even feel her way home, but she smells 
back over the track she made in going out. Now, 
if you watch these two ants, one going to the nest, 
with a grain of sugar he has picked up on the floor, 
and the other coming from the nest, what do you 
see?" 

"Why," cried Don, in great excitement, "what 
are they doing? Are they fighting? They are 
both throwing their feelers up and touching each 
other. Now one is going on and the other 
Mother! do you suppose the first one told him 
about where he found the sugar, and that there is 
more there? He is going right to the same spot!" 

"Perhaps he did," replied mother. "At any rate, 
your question as to how ants tell each other about 
their affairs is answered; they talk with their 
feelers." 



ANT WORKERS 39 

"I think ants are the most interesting neighbors!" 
cried Ruth. 

"The most wonderful thing they do is to divide 
up the work so well, I think," said Don. 

"No," said Ruth, with a positive shake of her 
head. "The most wonderful thing is that every 
ant does his own share of the work without fussing 
about it. You need not smile at me, Don Harris," 
she added with a blush. "I'll weed my share of 
the garden after this! Who is going to let an ant 
beat her?" 

"Not my daughter, I am sure," said mother. 
"If you and Don learn a lesson of industry and fair 
division of work from the ants, don't you think 
we will have to say they are of some use, after all?" 

"Yes indeed, mother," cried Ruth, heartily. 

"And if we forget," added Don, "all you need 
to say is, 'Go to the ant, consider her ways and be 
wise,' and then we'll remember." 

Something to do: 

1. Look up in an encyclopaedia pictures of ant eggs, 
larvae,* cocoons, male, female, and worker ants. Make 
enlarged drawings of each in your notebooks, and place 
a small mark by the side of each drawing to indicate 
the actual size. For example, if the actual size is one 
quarter of an inch, and you make your drawing three 
quarters of an inch in height, the line one quarter of an 
inch, by the side of this drawing, will show that you have 
enlarged it three times. 

2. List the helpful parts of the ants' work. Is the ant 
a good neighbor? Why do you think so? 

3. What is the most wonderful or the most interest- 
ing lesson you have learned about the ant? 

4. What lessons have you learned from the ant? 



46 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

To learn: Proverbs 6. 6-8. 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; 

Consider her ways, and be wise; 

Which having no chief, 

Overseer, or ruler, 

Provideth her bread in the summer, 

And gathereth her food in the harvest. 

Proverbs 6. 6-8. 



LESSON IV 
SPIDER WEAVERS 

IN our first lesson we made the acquaintance of 
a back-yard neighbor that we often forget; and we 
learned how much we owe to these busy but quiet 
workers, the plowmen earthworms. Next we visited 
those industrious little creatures, whom we some- 
times call a nuisance, and we found that even the 
ants have their part to play in God's wonderful 
world. 

To-day we are to go to another group of back- 
yard neighbors who are not quite so numerous as 
either of the others that we have been thinking of; 
and perhaps this is a very good thing, as they ply 
a trade of a very different sort. They are weavers, 
and are always looking for good places in which to 
hang their work. If there were as many of them 
as there are of ants and earthworms, I do not know 
what would happen! 

Each member of this rather large family is the 
owner and sole operator of one of the most won- 
derful silk factories in 'the world. You may find 
the products of these factories in many places about 
your back yard. Perhaps a bit hangs from a bush 
or a vine; another piece of their weaving may be 
fastened to the rafters of the porch or the garage. 
You may discover one of the weavers has been in 
your attic, or in the cellar. Perhaps one has pre- 
ferred to spread her silken blanket on the grass. 
You will find it gleaming with dew drops, and you 



42 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

are almost ready to declare that Titania, the queen 
of the fairies, has spread her best lace bed-covering 
out to bleach; for surely these dainty silvery threads 
were never intended for any but a fairy's use. 
We shall see! 

What, you are shaking your heads, and saying 
that there are no such factories in your back yard? 
You are sure you have no neighbors who are silk 




GARDEN SPIDER'S WEB 

G Guy lines S Spokes or radii 



F Foundation lines 



Sp Spiral lines 



weavers? Come with me, and keep your eyes 
wide open. 

Oh, here is a filmy scarf, caught in the ends of 
the rosebushes! It is a bit of weaving done by the 
Lady Miranda Spider. You say it is nothing but 
a cobweb, and that it was made by a horrid spider? 
It is true that mother calls the spider a nuisance 



SPIDER WEAVERS 



43 



when it spins its web in the corner of the room, 
and mother is quite right in sweeping away the 
spider's work. Lady Miranda need not come into 
our houses to find a good factory site. But .we need 
not be afraid of "her, or of her bite. If we study her 
ways, we may learn that she is a better creature 
than we had thought her to be. At any rate, we 
shall find that she possesses a most remarkable skill. 

Look in the corner back of the web; there is the 
Lady Miranda herself, hiding, and waiting for what 
may happen. Note how she differs from the ant; 
the spider is not an insect, for she has eight legs, 
and these are fastened to the head part of the body. 
She has no wings. The abdomen is not cut or 
divided. My naturalist 
friend tells me the spider's 
heart has eight lobes, and 
that most spiders have eight 
eyes, though you will not 
be surprised to find that 
spiders living in caves are 
blind. 

But you are eager to see 
the spider's silk factory. 
Where do you suppose it is 
and where do you think 

the spider finds her material for weaving? From 
no other place than her own body! She herself is 
her own silk factory, and within her body she 
makes the stuff from which she spins her dainty 
webs. The actual weaving is done by two or three 
pairs of spinning organs called spinnerets. 

It would take a whole book, and perhaps several 
books, to tell you all the wonders of these spin- 




GARDEN SPIDER 



44 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



nerets. We would need, too, a very fine microscope 
to help our eyes in seeing just how they are made 
and just how they work. If you look up the sub- 
ject in an encyclopaedia, you will find no end of 
wonderful and interesting facts a'bout them, but 
you will like to hear now some of the marvelous 
things people have learned about these silk fac- 
tories. 

Men and women who have studied the spider 
very carefully tell us that each spinneret looks 
like a tiny sieve, each having several hundred holes 
in it. What a fairylike sieve it must be you can 
guess when I tell you that the head of a common 
pin will cover hundreds of the holes. 

When the spider begins to spin, a gummy stuff 
comes from the holes. This is fluid when it comes 
out, but it hardens almost as soon as it gets into 
the air and the sun. Find out if the spider ever 
runs her factory on a rainy day, and see if you can 
tell the reason why. 

A spider begins her work by rubbing her legs 
together until the gummy substance begins to come 
from the spinnerets. Any or all of the holes may 
send out a tiny stream, depending upon the sort 
of silk the spider wishes to make. If you take a 
bit of silk thread from your mother's work basket, 
and examine it closely, you will see that it is made 
up of many fine strands, all twisted together, to 
make one larger thread. The number of strands 
that are used will determine the strength and thick- 
ness of the finished thread. 

The spider follows the same plan. If she wishes 
to make a fine thread, she will use the substance 
from a few of the holes. If she wishes a very strong 



SPIDER WEAVERS 



45 



and heavy line, she will use the material from all 
of the holes, and she will use it just as the fine 
strands in the silk thread were used. She will 
twist them all together to make a strong thread. 
She may also twist the threads from each spinneret 
with those coming from the other spinnerets. You 
can see, then, that the finished thread may be 
made up of many hundreds of very fine strands. 
Even then it is finer than one of the hairs of your 
head. But how strong it is! How far it will stretch 
before it breaks! You will find it interesting to 
measure a thread, as it hangs from rafter or bush, 
and then see to what length you can stretch it 
before it breaks. Perhaps you can attach a tiny 
.paper to one end, and fill the paper, bit by bit, 
with sand, till the weight makes the thread break. 
Then, by getting your 
druggist friend or your 
teacher at school to weigh 
the sand for you, you can 
find what the strength of 
the spider's cord is. 

If you would like to know 
how a spider begins her web, 
imprison one by putting 
her on an upright stick 
fastened to a float in a dish 
of water. Can the spider 
swim away? How will she 
escape? Watch, and you may see her spin a thread, 
then she will wait for a soft breeze to blow her, 
clinging to the end of her silken cable, to some spot 
to which she can fasten the thread firmly. 

If we had seen Madam Spider begin her work, 




HOUSE SPIDER 



46 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

in our bush, we would have noted that she selected 
a strong support, probably a branch near the top 
of the place where her finished web is. Tnen, in 
the way just described, she swung a long line to 
a second support, and fastened it securely. Then 
she ran back on this line to the middle of the cable, 
made another fastening, and swung off her second 
cable. This was done a number of times, till several 
threads, all coming from a common:, center, were 
well secured at the ends to good supports. 

Next the spider started from the center and wove 
around and around a loose spiral, fastening it to 
each spoke. This made a sort of platform from 
which she was to weave the web itself. 

As soon as the spiral reached the point on the. 
spokes where the edge of the web was to be, Madam 
Spider began to go back weaving a new kind of 
thread, not smooth and shining like the first one, 
but sticky; and these threads were placed much 
closer together than the first ones. When these 
were all finished she built herself a secret nest, and 
stretched from the very center of the web to this 
nest a strong thread, a sort of a fairy telephone 
line. No words will ever be spoken over this line, 
though messages of one kind will travel across it, 
you may be sure. For Madam Spider, having 
completed her work, retreats to her secret chamber, 
and sits there, holding an end of the telephone line 
in her hand. 

To be more exact, the spider hangs from her 
nest, with one foot on the connecting thread, wait- 
ing for a message, which she no doubt is eager to 
receive. With such a dainty web, and with such 
a delicate line, you might be excused for supposing 



SPIDER WEAVERS 47 

it is a fairy message that is expected. But, of 
course, you know this is not the case. The web 
is a cruel trap for an unwary fly or other insect. 
The instant one brushes his gauzy wing against 
the sticky threads, the quiver on the telephone 
line tells the hiding spider just what has happened. 
She knows exactly what to do. She lets the line 
loosen. The whole web sags a bit, and the poor 
insect, trying to escape, is still more tangled in 
the threads. Then the spider tightens the web 
once more, and this makes matters yet worse for 
the fly. I saw this shaking of the web many a 
time when I was a child, though it was long before 
I found out the reason for it. 

Presently, when the victim is well bound, Madam 
Spider walks out to inspect her prisoner, though 
she keeps at a distance till she is certain it is safe 
to come nearer. Then she may bind her captive 
still closer; perhaps she will strike her poisoned 
fangs into the body. When the creature is quite 
dead, the spider will cut away the binding threads, 
and then she may suck the juices from the body. 
If she is not hungry, or if she does not care for the 
kind of a dinner she has caught, she may leave 
this hanging in the web till she has tried her luck 
again. 

You can see now why the spider must spin such 
strong threads. If insects could easily break them 
and so escape, the spider would go hungry many 
times. 

You can find such a web as we have just de- 
scribed, as it is of the commonest sort. There are 
many shapes and forms, as each kind of spider 
spins a special kind of web. You can learn to tell 



4 8 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



what kind of spider lives in your yard or attic, 
though you may never see the creature herself, 
just by knowing the form of web each spins. 

Sometimes the webs are very irregular. Some- 
times they are dome-shaped. Some are shaped 
like a funnel. One spider weaves a curious web 
that looks like the liquid part of a bird's dropping, 

while the spider itself resem- 
bles the more solid part. An 
unsuspicious insect passing by 
this web finds itself suddenly 
entangled and then stabbed 
by the fangs of this clever 
spider! 

Note where the spider 
walks in the web. Why 
should this be so? Perhaps 
you will need to put a spider 
under a magnifying glass to 
answer this question. You 
will soon decide that such 
curious legs are much better 
for hanging by than for walk- 
ing. The claws on the feet 
make it very easy for spiders 
to hold to the web from the 
under side. Did you ever 

before realize that you have neighbors who hang 
head downward from their homes, when they are at 
rest? 

If you search along some dry path, or in your 
garden, you may find the curious home of the trap- 
door spider, so named from the sort of home it 
makes. .First it digs out a deep hole in the earth, 




TRAPDOOR SPIDER'S 
BURROW 



SPIDER WEAVERS 49 

carrying away the dirt bit by bit. Next, threads 
are spun across the opening in all directions. Over 
these the spider places bits of moss, leaves, and 
dirt. Then come more threads, and more dirt, 
till a thick strong door is built. One by one the 
supporting threads are cut away, till only enough 
for a hinge remains. 

Now Madam Spider is quite ready for business. 
If she is alarmed, she retreats to her tunnel, hold- 
ing to the walls with some of her feet, and to the 
door with others. It is said that the door is so 
firm, and that the little owner can hold it so tightly 
shut, that it may be torn apart before it can be 
opened. 

But if she is looking for a meal, she leaves the 
door open a bit, and is ready to pounce on any 
unlucky insect that wanders by! 

A European student of spiders once tried to find 
out if spiders think. He found trap door spiders 
had built their nests in a certain sort of soil, and 
had used bits of moss to hide the doors, making 
them look so much like the gr,ound about them 
that only the sharpest eyes could find the nests. 
The man took away all the soil around the nest 
of one spider, and replaced it with earth of quite 
a different color. Then he broke off the door of 
the spider's house, and waited to see what she 
would do. Would she use the earth around her 
home to build the new door? No, she went off a 
long distance to get building material such as she 
had used at the first. Of course this made a door 
that showed very plainly. If this spider did not 
think as you and I think she at least was guided 
by a remarkable instinct. 



50 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

These are but a few of the plans of the heavenly 
Father by which these neighbors of ours live. The 
more you study them, the more interesting facts 
you will learn about them, and the more you will 
wonder at the remarkable way in which each little 
creature has been supplied by God with that kind 
of body, and with those organs that enable it to 
fit exactly into that part of his plan in which the 
Father has placed it. You will come to love and 
respect all life, in whatever form you may find it, 
as one way in which God shows us his love and 
his tender and all-wise care. Over and over again 
you will think: "This is a piece of God's handi- 
work. How wonderful it is! How marvelously 
planned i 

'Who can utter the mighty acts of Jehovah? 
Or can show forth all his praise?' " 

Is it not good to visit our weaver neighbor if she 
helps us to think of these things? 

Something to do: 

1. Look for a spider's web, and make a careful draw- 
ing of it in your book. Try to learn the name of the 
spider that made it, and write its name under the web. 

2. Watch a spider in her web. Is it true that she 
always hangs from it, and never walks on it? 

3. Write in your notebook the different kinds of webs 
you have found. 

4. Look for an interesting story about Robert Bruce 
and a spider. What did the spider teach him? 

5. A man" fleeing from his enemies was once saved by 
a spider. Who was the man? How did the spider save 
his life? 



SPIDER WEAVERS 51 

6. Decorate a card made from colored cover paper 
with a picture or drawing of a spider and its web, and 
write the memory verse on it. 

To learn: 

James i. 43.: Let patience have its perfect work; or 
Ecclesiastes 7. 8b: The patient in spirit is better than 
the proud in spirit. 

O Jehovah, how manifold are thy works ! 
In wisdom hast thou made them all: 
The earth is full of thy riches. 

Psalm 104. 24. 



LESSON V 
SPIDERS AND THEIR NESTS 

WE have found that spiders use their skill in 
weaving, and have their wonderful silk factories, 
to earn their living, just as do men, though not 
in the same way. But the spider makes another 
use of her silk. Can you think what this is? 

Of course! The spider, like all others of God's 
creatures, is obedient to the laws which God has 
planted in her being. One of these laws, and a 
very important one it is, is the desire to care for 
the eggs from which shall develop the young spiders 
of the next generation. You will be quite satis- 
fied, then, to learn that spiders use their skill in 
weaving to make strong and often very beautiful 
cases in which to stow safely the eggs that are to 
hatch into young spiderlings. 

Just as spiders spin webs of many kinds, they 
spin egg cases of different shapes and designs. 

The blind cave spiders make a thin mesh of the 
threads that only holds the eggs together, without 
hiding them at all. Some spiders lay all their eggs 
at one time, and will make a single egg sac to hold 
them. Other spiders lay a few eggs at a time, 
and these make a series of egg sacs, and fasten 
them one to another, something like a string of 
beads. 

If you look in the attic or in the cellar for the 
egg sac of the common house spider, do not think 
to find anything lovely in form or arrangement. 



SPIDERS AND THEIR NESTS 53 

Its egg case is a mass of fluffy silk that hides the 
eggs, but that looks very untidy. 

A spider that lives in the grass will hide her 
eggs under the loose bark of a dead tree. Some 
spiders add a covering of mud to a little pear- 
shaped case. Bits of stick or of moss cover other 
cases. One spider makes a nice felt bedspread from 
her own body to keep the babies warm. 

Another spider weaves in threads of a different 
kind, lines the inside of the nest in the softest 
manner possible, makes a wee pocket, and tucks 
into this a tiny ball of yellow beads the eggs. 

If you find hanging in the web of a garden spider 
a tiny case that looks like a wee Grecian vase, you 
may know that it is the egg case, not of the garden 
spider herself, but of another and smaller spider 
that often lives in or near the nest of her big 
neighbor. . 

Still another egg case is shaped like a lens. One 
spider lays her eggs in a leaf, and binds the edges 
of the leaf together. Then she takes no chances 
of the leaf's blowing away, but fastens it to the 
branch with her silken threads. Perhaps you may 
find one of these nests if you look sharply for it. 

Certain spiders do not trust their precious eggs 
to any chance whatever, but carry the sac about 
with them wherever they go, under the abdomen. 
One such spider waits till the eggs are nearly ready 
to hatch out, then she puts them all on the leaves 
of some convenient branch, wraps the leaves to- 
gether with her weaving, and stays near at hand 
to guard the green and silver home. Have you 
ever found a nest of this sort? 

Another spider that carries her egg sac about 



54 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

with her puts all her babies on her back when they 
hatch out, and off they go for a ride, like little 
opossums. When I was a small child I did not 
know this trick of the spider, and I was greatly 
surprised one day to see many little spiders tumble 
from their mother's back and scurry off to the 
grass when a man stopped the parent as she was 
crossing a country road. 

You would suppose that all spiders, having taken 
so much pains to weave safe and lovely nests lor 
their eggs, would see to it that the babies had the 
best of care. But many spiders do not live to bring 
up their families. They have used up all their 
silk, and have none left for traps or to bind their 
prey. Many of them die when the cold days come, 
and it is old Mother Nature that must care for the 
babies. Shall we say that? Shall we not rather 
think that the heavenly Father, who . has made 
all things, has a thought for these little creatures 
too? It is he who has taught the mother spider 
to weave so strong a nest that it will hold fast till 
the warm spring suns crack open the case. Then 
out come the spiderlings in a great hurry to explore 
the big world. They know exactly what to do. 
They climb a stick or a stone, or a dry grass blade, 
and begin yes, you are right! they begin to spin, 
not a web for the first attempt, but a strong thread. 
The spring breeze comes along to help by blowing 
away the thread, and you may be sure the young 
spider does not let go of it. She hangs on for dear 
life, and takes her first ride! Thus the circle of 
spider life has been completed, and a new one 
started. 

Perhaps you are wondering if spiders are of any 



SPIDERS AND THEIR NESTS 55 

use. This is not an easy question to answer, as 
we do not know enough about spiders to be sure. 
They no doubt do help to keep down the flies that 
are so troublesome, though no one has ever studied 
the question very carefully. The Bible tells us 
that God saw everything he had made and that 
it was all good. We have countless things about 
his plans yet to learn. Some day, a person will 
study the spider as Darwin studied the earthworm. 
Perhaps it will be a boy or a girl who reads this 
book; and there is little doubt that many new and 
interesting things about spiders will be found. 

We have learned, however, that some of the 
ideas we have long held about spiders are quite 
incorrect. For one example, many persons fear 
the bite of the spider as much as they fear the bite 
of a deadly snake; they believe that both are alike 
poisonous, and perhaps fatal. 

It is quite true that the spider has poisonous 
fangs, and that its bite may kill a fly. But it is 
absurd to think that for this reason a spider bite 
may kill a man or a woman. A flea bite or a mos- 
quito bite may seriously poison a person, especially 
if that person's health is such that it is impossible 
to throw off the poison readily. Anyone who is 
not very strong may be harmed by the bite of a 
spider, and one ought always to be careful in 
handling them; but we may lay aside most of our 
silly fears as to what spiders can do. Usually they 
will not make an attack if they are let alone, and 
very probably they pay their way in the world 
by killing harmful insects. 

There are one of two exceptions to the non- 
poisonous spider that everyone should know. The 



56 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

first and most common of these is a little black 
spider, quite easily found in the temperate parts 
of America. It is known as "the Black Widow." 
It is coal-black, with a bright red spot on its abdo- 
men. It generally makes its web in outbuildings 
and under porches and houses where plumbers are 
apt to come upon it when repairing broken water 
pipes. There are several well-proven cases of 
death resulting from its bite. It is said the Indians 
of the southwest formerly poisoned their arrows by 
dipping them in the mashed bodies of these spiders. 
At any rate, it is well to keep a long distance from 
this very black sheep of the spider family. 

The tarantula, a big and ugly-looking spider that 
does not live in temperate America, but that some- 
times comes to us in bunches of bananas from its 
home in the warmer climates, has been given a 
very bad name, and is often said to be poisonous. 
This is not quite proved, but few people would be 
likely to encounter this fellow. Many persons in 
the United States say it is not poisonous, but it 
is much feared, especially in the tropics. 

It was thought at one time that the bite of the 
tarantula was so deadly that it made people ill and 
they became insane. It was said that the only 
cure was prolonged dancing, to a strange and 
weird music which was supposed to drive the 
poison out. Do you think that the old super- 
stition may have a bit of truth in it, and that the 
drenching perspiration that must have been caused 
by long dancing did drive out the poison? At any 
rate, we have some queer and wild music, which 
has been in part copied from that to which people 
danced at such times. These compositions are 



SPIDERS AND THEIR NESTS 57 

called "tarantellas." Ask a good musician to play 
one for you. As you listen, close your eyes, and 
imagine strangely dressed people whirling around 
in a dizzy dance, now one and then another stop- 
ping because of being quite tired out, and a new 
dancer seizing the injured person, and urging, even 
compelling, him to keep up the effort, until he 
was too tired to dance another step. 

Some travelers tell us that the hairs of tropical 
spiders make the skin very sore, but this is probably 
not because they are poisonous, but just because 
they are hard and stiff. They get into the skin 
easily, and scratch and irritate it more than if 
they were soft. 

Perhaps you ask why we do not use the strong 
silk of the spider as we do that of the silk worm. 
This has been tried, but no very practical way 
has yet been found of making use of it. The spider 
does not spin a cocoon in the regular way that the 
silk worm does, and it is hard to make her spin web 
silk. One very interesting attempt has been made 
in France to use a spider that spins an especially 
strong thread. The day may yet come when boys, 
going to buy a new necktie, will say: "If you please, 
show me one of spider silk. I prefer that to worm 
silk." Or a girl, about to choose a new dress, may 
hear the salesman say: "This is a fine piece of silk 
from China;- or will you have this spider silk, just 
received from our factory in France?" 

But whether or not we are able to make use of 
the spider's silk, we may learn a great deal from 
studying her life and her ways. See how patient 
and brave she is, and how she tries again and again. 
She is only a tiny creature following blindly the 



58 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

way that has been taught her. But she is under 
God's kind and watchful care, and it helps us to 
trust and be brave when we think, as we look at 
her, that 

"Jehovah is good to all; 
And his tender mercies are over all his works." 

Something to do: 

1. Look in the encyclopaedia for pictures of spider egg 
cases. Copy one or two in your notebook. 

2. Find as many spider egg cases as you can and bring 
them to class. 

3. Test a spider's thread to see how far it will stretch, 
and how heavy a weight it will hold. 

4. Write a letter to some friend and tell the most 
interesting thing you have learned about spiders. Per- 
haps you can illustrate this letter with drawings of the 
spider, its web, or its egg case. 

The eyes of all wait for thee; 

And thou givest them their food in due season. 

Psalm 145. 15. 

To learn: 

Psalm 147. 5 : Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; or 

Psalm 148. 5: 

Let them praise the name of Jehovah; 
For he commanded, and they were created. 



LESSON VI 
THE HONEY BEE 

"On, good!" cried Don, as he unfolded his napkin 
at the tea table one evening. "Honey and hot 
biscuit for supper!" 

"Yes," answered mother. "Grandfather sent us 
a case of the best white-clover honey from Bonny 
Brook farm this afternoon." 

"Why do you say 'white-clover honey,' mother?" 
asked Ruth. "Isn't honey just honey, and all alike?" 

"Oh, no, indeed!" replied mother. "Honey varies 
in flavor according to the flowers in which the 
bees work. Orange-blossom honey has a very 
distinctive flavor, and is quite unlike white-clover 
honey. Some people are fond of sage honey, and 
many will not eat honey made from buckwheat 
blossoms at all." 

"What do you call honey that is made from a 
mixture of flowers? Tutti-frutti honey?" asked 
Don. 

"There is no such thing as honey made 'from 
a mixture of flowers,'" replied father. "The bees 
do not go from one kind of flower to another kind 
to gather the nectar, even when the opportunity 
is given, but stick to one sort as long as there is 
any honey to be had." 

"I should think," said Don, "that someone 
would find a way of getting honey from flowers 
by machinery. It would save so much trouble, 
and there would be no danger of getting stung." 

59 



6o 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



No, it did not, 

Honey Sac 



"That is quite an original idea, Don," laughed 
father, "but one that won't work. The nectar that 
is found in flowers is not honey. It is changed to 
honey by the bee." 

"I didn't know that," said Ruth. "We used to 
bite off the ends of the white clover to get what 
we called the honey, when we were at the farm 
last summer." 

"And it did not taste as this honey does, did it?" 
asked father. 

agreed Ruth. "But, father, 
where does the bee turn 
the nectar into honey? 
In the hive?" 

"No," replied father. 
"The bee gathers the 
nectar, and carries it 
to the hive in a little 
sac called the 'honey 

THE WONDERFUL HONEY FACTORY stomach ; here it is 
(Enlarged) mixed and stirred with 

certain juices that are 

in the sac, and by the time the bee reaches the 
hive, the honey is made." 

,. "I always wished I could see what went on in 
the hive after bees came in," said Don. 

"It is an interesting sight," agreed father, "and 
some day you must build an observation hive and 
watch the bees at work. Until that is possible 
you will have to use your imagination while I 
tell you what goes on. The bee wastes no time; 
she deposits the honey in the cells, empties her 
pollen baskets and then hurries off for another 
load." 




Wax Scales 
Pollen Basket 



THE HONEY BEE 



61 



Comes from market 
with Basket on hind leg 

full of Pollen 

(Enlarged) 




POLLEN BASKET 



"'Her pollen baskets'!" echoed Ruth. "Does 
the bee have baskets?" 

"Yes, indeed," said father, "two of them, little 

pouches that grow on her 
hind legs. She fills these 
with pollen, the yellow dust 
that you find on the 
flowers, and this is made 
into bee bread for the 
young bees." 

"Are they taken care of 
by nurses, like the ant 
children?" asked Don. 

"Yes, very much in the 
same way," replied father. 
"There are three kinds of 
cells in every beehive. Each kind of cell holds a 
certain kind of egg, from which a special kind of 
bee is to develop. The small cells are for worker 
bees, and there are a great many of these, for the 
hive will need many workers. Larger cells hold eggs 
that will develop into drones. In a hive of fifteen 
thousand bees there might be perhaps five hundred 
drone cells. Last of all, on the outer edge of the 
comb are a few large cells, almost acorn-shaped, 
and these hold the eggs 
from which the queen 
bees are to come." 

"And the nurses?" 
prompted Ruth. "Do 
they carry the eggs about 
as the ant nurses do?" 

"They do not take, 
the eggs outside," replied BEE WORKER (Enlarged) 




62 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

father, "but they are most careful of them. You 
know that only the queen lays eggs. She is so 
busy doing this that she has no time to look after 
the eggs. The nurses follow her about, as she 
goes from cell to cell. They take great pains to 
see that each egg is laid in the, cell in the right 
position. They make sure that it is neither too 
warm nor too cold for the eggs, and when the eggs 
hatch, how the nurses do work!" 

"Oh, I can guess what they do," cried Ruth. 
"The eggs hatch into hungry little larvae, do they 
not, father?" 

"Yes," replied father, "astonishingly hungry 
little larvae that eat all the nurses will give them 
for four or five days. Then they get very sleepy, 

and the nurses put them to bed 
in the cells. Each sleepy little 
grub spins a bed for himself, and 
goes off into the soundest kind of 
a .nap. The bee workers develop 
WORKER CELLS in twenty-one days; a drone or 

male bee four days longer; and a 
queen from sixteen days to two weeks." 

"And are they grown-up bees when they come 
out, and all ready to make honey?" asked Ruth. 

"None of the bees are quite ready to take care 
of themselves when they first wake up," replied 
father. "They are weak, and the nurses stroke 
them and feed them on bee-bread and honey. 
But it is not long before they get strong and are 
ready to play their part in the work of the hive." 

"Do tell the children the story of the coming of 
the new queen," said mother. "I think it is the 
most interesting part." 




THE HONEY BEE 



"I told you," said father, "that the queen larvae 
sleep less than the drones or workers, so, of course, 
they come to a full growth quicker. Their rapid 
maturity is due to the royal jelly which is fed to them 
by the workers. Besides this, the royal or queen bee 
eggs were laid at different times, so the queens 
are not all ready to leave the cells at the same 



Queen Cell- 




B&by Bee 
Pupa 

Old larva 
Larva. 



Drone Cell 



CROSS SECTION OF COMB 

time. But when a new queen is ready to come out, 
she makes a strange little call, that every bee in 
the hive knows and understands." 

"And what does the old queen do?" asked Don, 
"Is she glad to think her daughter is ready to come 
out, or is she angry to think another queen is near?" 

"She is most terribly angry," replied father. 
"She would gladly sting the new queen to death 
if she could but reach her! But the other bees 
know this, and they guard the new queen, still 
in her cell, very strongly, and will not let the old 
one come near her at all. But, of course, some- 



6 4 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




thing must be done, and the bees are wise enough 
to know the best way, generally. If the season 
has been a good one, and there are a great many 
bees in the colony, many of them will go with the 
old queen to find a new home. They set out from 
the old hive, or, as grandfather says, they 'swarm.' 
Then the new queen comes out of her cell, and is 

very lovingly cared for by her 
subjects in the old hive." 

"Is there never more than 
one queen?" asked Don. 

"You are thinking of those 
other cells, in which royal eggs 
were laid at different times," 
smiled father. "Those queens 
were nearly ready to come out 
when the new queen emerged. 
They make in their turn, the 
same sort of call that she made, 
and she feels toward them just 
as her mother felt toward her. She too wishes to get 
to their cell and kill them every one! But the guards 
are as careful to keep her from the other queens as 
they were in keeping the old queen away, at least 
until they make sure there are not enough bees in the 
hive for a second new swarm. If there should be, 
they might take the new queen, and go away to start 
another new colony. But generally there are too 
few bees left after the first swarm has gone to make 
a second swarm. When the bees are sure of this, 
they leave the royal cells, and it takes the new 
queen but a short time to decide as to what she shall 
do! She goes to the cells one after the other, 
tears them apart, and kills every single young 



QUEEN (Enlarged) 




THE HONEY BEE 65 

queen. She will have no dangerous rivals in her 
kingdom!" 

"And then?" asked Ruth, breathlessly. 

"Then," smiled father, "having settled for good 
and all the matter of rule, she goes out to take a 
flight in the sunshine. You remember we spoke of 
the drones. They never 
make any honey; they 
never do any work. They 
too have heard the new 
queen's call as she tried 
to get out of her cell. 
They are waiting near the 
entrance to the hive and 
when the queen flies into DRONE (Enlarged) 

the air, they try to follow 

her. She flies high up in the bright sunshine, and 
only the very strongest of the drones can 
follow her. The others may come back to the 
hive for a time, but they are pretty sure to 
be killed before winter comes. As soon as the 
queen comes back to the hive she begins to lay 
eggs, as did her mother when she first came to the 
hive." 

"Grandfather sent away for a new queen when 
we were at Bonny Brook last summer," said Don. 
"Why did he do that?" 

"Good beekeepers know that it is wise to renew 
the life of the hive from time to time, and, of course, 
the way to do this is by getting a new queen," 
answered father. "Did grandfather put the new 
queen free into the hive?" 

"Oh, no," said Don. "She was shut in a little 
box of wire, with some other bees that came with 



66 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

her, and there was a little honey and some bits 
of candy in the box." 

"The new queen and her companions would live 
on these," said father; "and while the hive bees 
could not get near enough to her to hurt her, they 
could come to the outside of her cage, sip the honey, 
and get acquainted with her. Grandfather knows 
bees so well, he could tell, by listening and watch- 
ing, when the bees were ready to take her for their 
queen. Then he would open the hive, take out 
the old queen and let the new one come out of 
her cage." 

"But, father," said Ruth, "I want to know what 
becomes of the bees that 'swarm.' " 

"We were so interested in seeing what the new 
queen did that we nearly forgot the old one," said 
father. "Probably the new swarm would not go 
far. Very likely they would settle on a low branch 
of some tree near at hand, piling one on top of 
another in a great mass, with the queen snugly 
hidden in the middle. A good beekeeper like 
grandfather is generally ready for this leaving of 
the old hive, and has a new one at hand to offer 
the bees. He may spread a blanket or sheet on 
the ground under the hanging swarm, set the hive 
on it, and brush the bees to the blanket. A little 
honey on the inside of the hive tempts the bees 
to go in, and if the beekeeper is sure the queen has 
entered the hive his work is nearly done. He need 
only move the hive, after dark, to its place among 
the other hives. The bees 'clean house,' making 
everything really as 'neat as wax,' and then they 
settle down to their real business in life, and begin 
to make honey as if nothing had changed at all." 



THE HONEY BEE 67 

"A bee. is such a tiny thing, I do not see how 
they make so much honey," said Ruth. "Grand- 
father had pounds and pounds of it." 

"You forget how very industrious bees are, 
daughter," said father. "A good colony will often 
make as much as one hundred pounds in a summer, 
just by keeping always at it." 

"It depends, does it not," asked mother, "on 
when the bees swarm? I have heard grandfather say 

'A swarm of bees in May 
Is worth a load of hay.' " 

"Yes," replied father, "and there is another rime 
that shows how much less later swarms may be 
expected to yield: 

. 'A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon; 
But a swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly.' 



That is not always true, for July swarms may 
make good buckwheat honey." 

"The ant may be a wise back-yard neighbor, but 
I think I like the bee better," said Ruth. 

"I like what she gives us, at any rate," laughed 
Don. 

"Both ant and bee have a place in God's won- 
derful plan for his world," said father, "though 
from our point of view the bee may seem more 
useful to man. Honey has always been highly 
thought of as a food, and the land promised to the 
people of Israel was thought to be of special worth 
since it was a 'land flowing with honey.' Indeed, 
people in Bible times valued honey so highly that 
they often compared the teachings of the Lord 
to it," 



68 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Oh, I remember!" cried Don. " 'The ordinances 
of Jehovah are true. Sweeter also than honey and 
the droppings of the honey comb.' " Psa. 19. 9, 10. 

"And 'sweeter than honey to my mouth,' " 
added Ruth. 

Father nodded his approval. "There are many 
other fine verses in the Bible about bees or about 
their product. You will find them in books like 
the Psalms, Proverbs, and in Matthew. Look up 
some of them, and learn the ones you like best." 

"The ants taught us to divide our work," said 
Ruth, as they rose from the table. "I wonder 
what the bee will teach us?" 

"Why, to keep busy, of course!" cried Don. 
"Don't you think the tea dishes call for you this 
minute?" 

"Oh, I hate dis No, I don't!" cried Ruth. 
"Mother, you rest in the swing, and I'll be 'as busy 
as a bee' for twenty minutes; then you'll never 
know there were any tea dishes!" 

Something to do: 

1. Catch a bee; wet it slightly. Dust with flour or 
talcum powder very lightly, handling the insect gently. 
Place the bee on the . windowpane and watch it clean 
itself.. 

2. Feed a bee a bit of honey; let it fly to the window. 
Look for the distended honey sac. It is about the size 
of a small sweet pea, and at the large end of the abdomen. 

3. In a nature book or an encyclopaedia, find a descrip- 
tion of the wings of a worker bee. What is the reason 
for this wing plan? 

4. How does a bee hear and smell? 

5. Make a little book of Bible verses about bees 
fconey. 



THE HONEY BEE 69 

6. People in Bible times were fond of riddles. Sam- 
son made a riddle about a swarm of bees. You will find 
it in Judges 14. 

What was the riddle, and what was the answer? 

To learn: Psalm 119. 103; or Psalm 19. 7-10. 

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the 
Lord. Romans 12. n. 




LESSON VII 
BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 

No neighbor that comes to our garden wears 
more beautiful clothes, eats, in most cases, more 
delicate food, or seemingly leads a more carefree 
life than do the butterflies and moths. 

How we love to see them flitting about from 

flower to flower, sipping 
the nectar from lily or 
honeysuckle, skimming 
across the lawn, or waving 
TbnQU6 their gorgeous wings in the 

lQkrqed) warm sunshine. 

Surely, you say, such 
lovely creatures must have 

an unusually lovely home. But did you ever find, 
or, for that matter, did you ever even hear of, a 
butterfly's nest? Ants' nests, bees' nests, wasps' 
nests, but no butterflies' nests! One reason is that 
the life of a butterfly, as a butterfly, is short. For 
the brief time of its life any shelter that it may 
chance upon will serve its needs. So you will find 
the butterfly is so made that the building of a shelter 
would be difficult, if not impossible, for, as a rule, 
no creatures are given parts that they do not, or 
will not, need to use. 

To find the whole life history of the butterfly, 
we must go in search of a creature quite different 
from the butterfly. Perhaps the easiest way to 

70 



BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 



trace this very interesting history will be to obtain 
some butterfly eggs, and see what happens! 

Now, of course, you cannot go out among the 
flowers and find butterfly eggs as easily as you 
might expect to find hen eggs on the farm! The 
butterfly eggs are so tiny that you might easily 
overlook them, and they are laid in all sorts of 
queer places. Perhaps the whole mass of eggs 
may be no bigger than the head of a pin, though 
each tiny egg would show a delicate and pretty 
form. 

But even though these eggs are so dainty and 
delicate, and so 
very small, 
they are not 
laid in a nest, 
as are the eggs 
of birds. They 
are very care- 
fully placed in 
what you 
might consider 
the queerest 
spots for a 
future home 
on such things 
as cabbage leaves, or elm tree leaves, or in fruit trees. 
They may be placed on beans or grain. Some 
butterflies may select palm trees. Certain kinds 
of moths look for woolen carpets, mother's furs, 
or your best Sunday suit as the proper place for 
their eggsl Each one follows the instinct that God 
has put in her little being, and selects that place 
that this instinct tells her will be the best food for 




Cabbage Butterfjy 



72 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

her babies. One very strange thing is that quite 
often the butterfly or moth may come to the kind 
of a place for egg-laying in which she has passed 
no part of her life. One butterfly, for example, 
spends most of her life among oak leaves; she may 
even eat decaying flesh; but she will look for a 
willow on which to lay her eggs. 

If, then, you are to go hunting for butterfly eggs, 
you must know likely places in which to look for 
them. If you choose a time rather late in the 
season, you are almost sure to get butterfly, eggs 
by catching the butterfly herself, and shutting 
her gently in a glass jar or covered box, with, per- 
haps, a few leaves of the food plant. After the 
butterfly has recovered from her fright, she will 
very likely lay a number of eggs on the leaves; and 
then you can permit her to fly away again. 

You will be wise to keep the box in which the 
eggs have been laid well covered over the top with 
a piece of close netting or fine gauze, for butterfly 
eggs are very well liked by many tiny creatures 
who will eat them up, if you do not prevent it! 

Watch your jar for a few days, and before very 
long you will discover that the wee eggs have 
hatched, not into lovely butterflies, but into crawl- 
ing caterpillars. Now you must feed them, and 
you will probably be quite surprised at the great 
amount the wrigglers can eat. If you were watch- 
ing at just the time the caterpillar came out of 
the shell, you might have seen it turn around and 
eat the shell the first thing. But this does not 
satisfy it for very long. It wishes its own green 
food and plenty of it. Perhaps you will need to 
put a narrow strip of sticky fly paper around the 



BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 



73 



top of the box in which, you are keeping the cater- 
pillars, or they may crawl out in search of more 
food. 

Presently you will note that the caterpillars 
have grown too large for their clothes, just as you 
grow too large for 
yours. But the cat- 
erpillar does not 
need to buy a new 
suit when his old 
one splits up the 
back, for a new one 
has been growing 
underneath the old 
one! After getting 
out of the old suit, 
the caterpillar will 
rest for a few hours, 
while he is getting 
used to his new 
dress, and then he 
begins to feed again. 
Some people say 

that ths first thing he eats is the old suit! I think 
it will be a good thing for you to discover if this 
is ever true, true in some cases, or always true. 

After the caterpillar has changed suits several 
times, perhaps four in all, a very strange thing 
begins to happen. The caterpillar begins to spin 
some silken threads, which it fastens very securely 
to some surface. Next it proceeds to twist and 
tangle its hind legs in these threads. Then it hangs 
head downward, and the skin along its back begins 
to split. When the skin is nearly off, the queer 




MILKWEED CATERPILLAR 



74 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



little body that is left often gives a quick jerk to 
catch certain little hooks at one end of it into the 
silk threads which the caterpillar wove. After a 

short time the outside 
skin hardens into a case, 
the shape changing a 




Butterfly Caterpillar 

case that is left hanging to your box, or to a dead 
branch or the side of the house, is called a chrysalis. 

You may often find chrysalides hanging to 
branches, to walls, tucked away in crevices, or 
rolled up in leaves. Some are nearly covered with 
bits of sticks, dust, fibers of plants, or the scale 
bodies on which the larvae live. All of these differ- 
ent coverings serve to hide and so protect the 
chrysalis. If you bring them into the house in the 
fall, and place them in a cage made of wire netting, 
you can keep them safely till it is time for the 
next change to take place, and 
then you will have the chance 
to watch one of the most won- 
derful events in nature. 

For, as you have guessed by 
this time, the creature that 
comes out of the chrysalis is 
not a caterpillar but a lovely- 
winged butterfly or moth, as 
the case may be. 

In most cases, the chrysalis Chrysalis 
breaks at the front end, where 
the head will come out. It looks sometimes as if 
the little creature on the inside wets the case with 
a fluid from its mouth, which no doubt softens and 




BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 



75 




THE SWALLOWTAIL 



dissolves the shell. Then the butterfly-that-is-to-be 
crawls up on the skin, or shell, which is still held by 
its support. The wings are bigger than they were 

when in the shell, 
but they are still 
wet and crumpled, 
and the abdomen 
is large and clumsy. 
But as the wings 
are stretched out, 
and slowly moved, 
they dry. They fill 
with thebody juices. 
They lengthen. 
They grow strong. 
Usually the front 

wings do not get to their full size as soon as do the 
hind pair. The abdomen grows smaller and be- 
comes slender. After an hour or two spent in the 
sunshine while the tissues of body and wing grow firm 
and strong, the but- 
terfly is fully grown, 
and flies away to 
make the best of its 
little life, to enjoy 
the sunshine and the 
flowers, and then to 
lay the eggs that 
shall in good time 
bring other butter- 
flies into being. 

It is hard to tell just how long a butterfly or a 
moth lives. But it is supposed that some varieties 
pass the winter in the winged or imago stage. Other 




THE MILKWEED BUTTERFLY 
THE MONARCH 



76 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

varieties pass the time of cold as caterpillars, or 
in the larva stage. Many live through the fall 
and winter as chrysalides. You may be surprised 
to know that some kinds live all through the cold 
days as butterflies, and that the eggs are not laid 
till spring. Some varieties have a complete life 
cycle from egg to imago, or complete butterfly or 
moth, at least twice in each summer, while others 
complete five life cycles in a year. 

We often speak of butterflies and moths as if 
they ate nothing but the nectar from flowers, but 
this is not always the case. Some of them are 
very evidently fond of kitchen refuse. The beauti- 
ful purple emperor has been discovered eating 
decaying flesh. 

While moths and butterflies have many things 
in common, there is a real difference between them, 
and it is usually not hard to tell one from the other. 
Butterflies as a rule fly only by day, while moths 
come out at night, .though a true night-flier may 
sometimes be seen flying on a dull or cloudy day. 
Moths spread their wings when at rest; butterflies 
usually fold theirs, holding them erect. Moths 
generally have a stouter body than the butterflies, 
and their feelers are feathery, while the feelers of 
the butterfly are slender, and end at the tip in a 
little clublike swelling. 

An interesting story of moth and butterfly is 
found in the way they protect themselves through 
coloring. Many moths rest with the hind wings 
concealed beneath the front ones. In such moths 
the front wings are often very dull, and may be 
spotted till they so closely resemble the surface on 
which the moth usually rests that you might put 



BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS 77 

your hand on one before you saw it. Yet the under 
wings may be very brilliant and lovely in color and 
markings. Butterflies that fold the wings together 
may show only a dull surface on the under part of the 
wing, while the upper part will be vividly marked. 

One very curious butterfly looks exactly like a 
leaf when it is at rest. Its tail comes down so as 
to touch the branch of the bush and looks like the 
stem of a leaf. A little notch where the wings 
start lets the head withdraw till it cannot be seen. 
The markings on the wings look exactly like the 
ribs of a leaf, and no matter how sharp your eyes 
are, you are almost sure to be fooled by the clever 
mimicry. 

It is thought that some butterflies are known 
to the birds through their brilliant markings to be 
bitter and unpleasant to the taste, and that, for 
this reason, the birds let them alone. Other butter- 
flies do not have these same bitter juices, but are 
let alone because they look like the others. 

One other protective trick that you may have 
noticed in some butterflies is their zigzag flight, 
which makes them more difficult to catch. No doubt 
the very spiny, woolly coat which some caterpillars 
wear must make them disagreeable to many birds. 

There are other ways of which we cannot tell 
here in which butterflies and moths and their cater- 
pillars escape their enemies. See how many of 
them you can discover for yourselves. You will 
find it a very interesting chapter written by the 
hand of God, and as you learn of the wonderful 
plans he has made for the rare of his little creatures 
which we often overlook or forget, you will come 
to have a new love for his goodness. You will find 



78 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

out many new facts, but no matter how much you 
may study, you will always say, "Thou knowest 
not the work of God who doeth all." 

Of one truth you will come to more and more 
sure "the earth is full of the loving-kindness of 
Jehovah." The butterflies and moths will help 
you to understand this, and you are sure to feel 
that, in doing so, they have played the part of 
very good neighbors indeed. 

Something to do: 

1. Find and read Robert Graves' poem on the cater- 
pillar. 

2. Make an Easter card from heavy paper; decorate 
it with butterflies, which you may copy from a colored 
plate, or paste on from crepe paper. Write on the card 
the verse you will find in Job 14. 14. 

3. Watch for butterflies during the day. Write descrip- 
tions of their markings. Note what flowers and trees 
they visit. Try to secure butterfly eggs as described in 
the text. 

4. Look for cocoons and egg cases under rafters, along 
fences, in the woods. 

5. Go to a bright street lamp, or place a bright light 
in a window, and study the moth visitors. How many 
kinds can you name? 

6. Write a short story of the life of a butterfly. 

7. Write in your notebook one fine lesson the butter- 
fly teaches us. 

To read: 

1. "The Example," a lovely little poem by W. H. 
Davies on a butterfly; or 

2. "A Caterpillar's Apology for Eating a Favorite 
Gladiolus," a poem by Charles Dalmon. 

He hath made everything beautiful in its time. 
Ecclesiastes 3. n. . 



PART II 
FEATHERED FRIENDS 



LESSON VIII 

HUNTING BIRDS WITH EYES 
AND CAMERA 

"I AM going on a bird hunt to-morrow," cried 
Doctor Cookman, overtaking Don and Ruth on 
the way home from school one Friday afternoon. 
"Don't you want to come along?" 

"Indeed I do!" cried Don, eagerly. 

Ruth hesitated, searching anxiously the merry, 
laughing face of her favorite teacher. Then, as her 
eyes fell on the camera he carried over his shoulder, 
her face brightened. 

"Do you really mean we may go with you on a 
camera hunt for birds?" she asked, as eager now 
as Don. 

"That is just what I mean," replied Doctor 
Cookman. "The birds are at their nest-making 
now, and we ought to get some great pictures!" 

"Oh, what fun!" exulted Ruth. "Indeed I do 
want to go!" 

Next morning, after a very early breakfast, the 
trio set off for a long day in the country. 

"First we will explore this sand bank above the 
brook," said Doctor Cookman. "I hope to get 
a picture of the nesting holes of the bank swallows. 
Yes, here are several." 

"Those nice, round holes?" asked Don. "They 
look as if they had been cut out by one of grand- 
father's drills." 

"They do indeed!" laughed Doctor Cookman. 

81 



82 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



"But they were tunneled out by a bird smaller 
than the English sparrow." 

"How far back in the bank do they run?" asked 
Ruth. 

"I opened a tunnel once, in October, after I knew 
that the birds had gone, and that tunnel was more 
than two feet in length. Quite a bit of work for 
a pair of tiny birds like the two flying over yonder," 
and the professor pointed across the little stream. 

"I did not know birds are tunnel-borers," said 
Ruth. 

"Very expert borers, some of them," replied 
Doctor Cookman. "The kingfisher builds a deeper 
tunnel, but we do not see him as often as the swal- 
low, because he always selects the bank of a stream 
in which fish live. Both the kingfisher and the 
swallow use their tunnels for homes as well as for 
nests." 

"Does the kingfisher really fish?" queried Don. 

"Yes, indeed!" replied Doctor Cookman. "The 
plumage is very oily, and well adapted for sudden 
plunges into the water. The bird will sit high up 
on some branch over the stream, and when a good 
dinner swims below it drops like a flash and comes 
out of the water a minute later with a squirming 
fish held tight in the beak. This may be eaten at 
once, or it may be carried to the hungry nestlings in 
the tunnel. When you get home, look up Neltje 
Blanchan's amusing description of these bank babies 
and the way they get their meals." 

"Where next?" asked Don, as Doctor Cookman 
folded his camera after snapping a picture of the 
swallows' holes. 

"We will try for a view of that tall elm in the 



HUNTING BIRDS 83 

meadow yonder," replied Doctor Cookman. "An 
oriole has just finished her nest, and I am quite 
sure that this is just the right light for a good 
photo. See if you can discover the nest, Ruth." 

Ruth turned bright eyes on the drooping branches 
of the elm, and looked searchingly at it. 

"I do not see a nest, but there is a queer-looking 
bag hanging from that low branch," she said. 

"That bag is the nest," laughed Doctor Cook- 
man. "It is one of the cleverest nests in all bird- 
dom. It is hung where boys and snakes and squirrels 
cannot reach it. It is rain proof. It is so strong 
that it will hold a family of four or six till the young 
have grown big enough to fly away. It is deep 
enough to hide the members from any robber hawk. 
It is made of no, I think I won't tell you what 
it is made of. Take my field glass, Ruth, and see 
how many things, different materials, you can dis- 
cover on the outside of the nest. Then when Don 
and I have finished with the photograph, I will 
tell you what I have found on the inside of orioles' 
nests." 

"Hair, string, a strip of rag, a bit of yarn, dry 
grass," announced Ruth, a few minutes later when 
Doctor Cookman and Don threw themselves on the 
grass beside her. 

"Quite right!" approved Doctor Cookman. "One 
seldom finds all of these materials in one nest, 
but our Madam Oriole has been visiting the back 
yard of Mrs. Brown, and has taken a rag from the 
ground perhaps." 

"And the inside of the nest?" asked Ruth. 

"It is probably lined with milkweed and plant 
fiber," replied Doctor Cppkman. "Perhaps she has 



84 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

also used bits of bark. This nest is partly covered 
over the top, because, as I suspect, Madam Oriole 
knows the hawks have a nest on yonder cliff, and 
she means to make herself and her nestlings as safe 
as possible." 

"How many nestlings will she have?" asked Don. 

"A Baltimore oriole's family is from four to six," 
answered Doctor Cookman. 

"Why do you call them 'Baltimore' orioles? Is 
it because they come from Baltimore?" asked Ruth. 

"Oh, no!" laughed Doctor Cookman. "Orange 
and black, the oriole's colors, were the colors of 
Lord Baltimore, who settled Maryland. There is 
a tradition that he chose those colors because he 
admired the orioles so much. I suspect he had 
chosen his colors long before he came to Mary- 
land, and that the bird was named because it 
wore his colors, but you may take your choice of 
the two reasons." 

"I choose to think that Lord Baltimore chose 
his colors from the bird," responded Ruth, very 
promptly. 

"James Russell Lowell loved the oriole," went on 
Doctor Cookman. "You ought to learn his lines 
that begin, 

'Hush, 'tis he! 
My oriole, my glance of summer fire.' " 

"Teacher, teacher, TEACHER, TEACHER!" called 
a voice from the thicket across the road, so earnestly 
that Don and Ruth both sprang to their feet. 

"An oven-bird!" exclaimed Doctor Cookman. 
"Let us see if we can find the nest. It would be 
fine to have a picture of one. But you must expect 



HUNTING BIRDS 85 

to spend a long time looking, as it is the very hard- 
est of all nests to see." 

The three crept softly into the dry woodland, 
and began to search among the leaves. 

"The nest will look like a tiny mound, a wee 
Dutch oven," whispered Doctor Cookman. "You 
may even think that some plant is just beginning 
to push up the leaves. Watch for the parent birds. 
If we come upon them feeding among the leaves, 
they may show us where the nest is." 

Presently Ruth's small finger pointed. "There 
are two birds looking for worms," she said. 

Doctor Cookman nodded, and they all crept on 
softly. A crackling twig startled the birds, and they 
began to show much alarm. The mother limped, 
dragged her wing as if it were broken, and did all 
she could to distract the attention of her unwel- 
come visitors. 

"The nest cannot be far," said Doctor Cookman. 
"I do not wish to trouble the birds, but the nest 
is a sight worth seeing. We will not touch it, and 
they will become quiet as soon as we go. Begin 
here as the center, and we will work out till we 
find it." 

"Here it is!" cried Don, after a few minutes 
of careful search. 

"See how much it looks like the ground around 
it," said Doctor Cookman. "We are very lucky 
to have found it at all. Here is the opening on 
one side, and look, there are five speckled little 
eggs in it!" 

"If they only knew we would not think of touch- 
ing one of their precious eggs!" said Ruth, with an 
eye on the anxious parents. 



86 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"We will be off in a minute," said Doctor Cook- 
man, busy with his camera. "There, I am sure 
that will make a splendid picture. Now I would 
like to show you another nest I found recently 
over in that clump of willows." 

Ruth and Don followed their friend to the side 
of the brook, and there, firmly built in the fork of 
a small willow, was an odd-looking nest made of 
plant fibers, leaves, and grass. Ruth stood on 
tiptoe, and caught her breath as she saw the dainty 
lining of hair, feathers and down. 

When the three had found a sunny place on the 
bank, Don turned to Doctor Cookman. 

"Why is the nest so tall?" he asked. "It looks 
like a like a well, almost like a three-story nest 
on the outside!" 

"That is exactly what it is!" said Doctor Cook- 
man. "But the two lower stories are never to be 
used. Most of the bird books tell of such nests, 
but we do not often find one. This nest was built 
by a yellow warbler, and she has built one nest 
on the top of another, till she has three of them!" 

"But why?" asked Don. 

"I have often told you that Citizen Bird is one 
of our best friends and helpers, and that is generally 
true. There is one exception to this rule. This is 
the cowbird. Look yonder across the fence and 
you will see a cowbird walking about among the 



cows." 
m 



'She is a busy bird; what is she doing? Eating the 
bugs and insects that the cows disturb?" asked Ruth. 

"Yes, that is probably why she likes the company 
of the herd," said Doctor Cookman, "and as far 
as that goes, she is a good neighbor. But the cow- 



HUNTING BIRDS 87 

bird is lazy, and will not build a nest for herself 
she prefers to steal one!" 

"Oh," cried Ruth, "does she drive the other 
birds away?" 

"No, indeed!" said Doctor Cookman. "She is 
quite too lazy to care for her own babies. So she 
lays her eggs in the nest of some smaller bird, like 
the yellow warbler, or the vireo, and goes off. 
Our yellow warbler here in the willow found the 
cowbird's big egg in her nest, and could not roll 
it out, so she built a second nest on the top of it, 
though it sealed one of her own eggs. But this 
was better than having a great cowbird baby to 
feed and to take from her own children the best 
of the food. But even after the second nest was 
finished, the cowbird, on the watch for her chance, 
laid a second egg, and Madam Warbler built the 
third nest." 

"The brave, clever little mother!" cried Don. 

"The cowbird is ever so much like the dodder, 
isn't she?" asked Ruth. 

"I think she is," smiled Doctor Cookman. "It 
makes little difference whether it is a plant or a 
bird or a person, we do not admire one that does 
not make his way by fair means." 

"No, indeed!" agreed Ruth and Don heartily, 
as they turned toward home. As they went along 
the meadow path Ruth's sharp eyes fell on a broken 
blue shell. 

"Oh, Doctor Cookman," she cried, "what hap- 
pened to this bird's egg?" 

Doctor Cookman searched for a minute, then 
pointed out a softened mass of mud and sticks 
lying on the ground. 



88 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




.. - ' K8&* ' ^^^^^^K->^~.i%3^ ., i. :iC.> '3t%a&3ZK: ^.djMS^HB^BR'%^ ^K*i.i*.&^&3&<&3icftg&:3^:<3 

(Photograph by William L. and Irene Finley. By permission of Nature 
Magazine, December, 1924) 



ROBIN 



HUNTING BIRDS 89 

"It is the wreck of a robin's nest," he said. 
"Robins use mud instead of clay to plaster their 
houses. Of course the nests tumble after such a 
hard rain as we had the other day. The phoebes, 
the barn and the cliff swallows are wiser. They 
build under bridges, cliffs, or the eaves of the barn, 
and so are safe." 

"There are dozens of swallows under the eaves 
of grandfather's barn at Bonny Brook," said Don. 
"The farmers say that you can tell when it is going 
to rain by the way the swallows fly. Is that true, 
Doctor Cookman?" 

"There may be a bit of truth in the saying," 
said Doctor Cookman, "but it is not that the 
swallows know any more about the rain than you 
or I do. The swallow hunts for insects when fly- 
ing through the air. You can see that insects with 
their fine gauzy wings cannot fly high when the air 
is heavy with moisture; so that the low flight of 
the birds may indicate possible rain." 

"The swallows must be glad for dry nests then," 
added Ruth. "I should think all birds would make 
nests under the eaves or in hollow trees." 

"Many birds do nest in hollow trees," said 
Doctor Cookman. "Other birds, not finding the 
right sort of hollow, will make one. The wood- 
peckers are best at this. Their bills were made 
for hammering, drilling, and chiseling. After they 
desert their homes bluebirds, chickadees, owls, or 
wrens may move in." 

"Birds have as many different kinds of homes as 
do people!" cried Ruth. 

"That is quite true," agreed her friend. "You 
have seen only a few of the bird homes to-day, but 



90 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

the more you know of them, the more interesting 
you will find them. You will discover that each bird 
has its own part to play in God's great wonder 
world. To each little feathered neighbor God has 
given exactly the tools that best fit it to do its 
own work. One may have a hammering bill like 
the woodpecker. Another may have a long and 
slender tongue like the humming bird. One bird 
will have stiff hairs around its bill to help in catch- 
ing its insect dinner. One bird's best tool will be 
a pair of long legs for wading. When you find a 
bird with a tail or a coloring or a bill or tongue 
that is ever so little different from another bird's, 
you may ask the meaning of this difference. You 
must always be sure it has not happened just by 
chance; there is a meaning back of it." 

"How many things there are to know!" sighed 
Don. 

"That is true," laughed Doctor Cookman. "It 
is because there are so many things to know that 
life is so interesting. And the very best part of 
the knowing is that we come to understand our 
heavenly Father better. Job says: 

'Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; 
And the birds of the heavens and they shall tell 
thee.' 

"Some of our very best lessons of trust and 
faith come from the birds." 

" 'God feedeth them,' " murmured Ruth. 

Doctor Cookman smiled down on his little friend. 

"Yes," he said, " 'They sow not, neither reap;' 
they have no 'store-chambers nor barn; and God 



HUNTING BIRDS 91 

feedeth them.' If God cares so much for a little 
bird, do you not think he will care even more for 
you? And if the birds have such a great part to 
play in fulfilling God's plan, what do you think of 
the part that boys and girls may play? Don't 
you agree that it must be worth the best that one 
can put into it?" 

"Yes, indeed!" agreed Don as he took up the 
camera and started toward home. 

Something to do: 

1. Send to the National Association of Audubon So- 
cieties, 1974 Broadway, New York City, for Educational 
Leaflets, with illustrations and outlines of birds. The 
cost will be small, and you will have much pleasure in 
learning all about the birds of your own vicinity. 

2. Paste on a cardboard a large colored picture of a 
bird which you may perhaps find in a catalogue or mag- 
azine. Arrange at one side, one above the other, the 
letters that spell the name of the bird. Cut the picture 
into strips. Make several of the cut-ups, and put them 
all in a box. Such "Sliced Birds" will be a good rainy 
day game, and will help you become familiar with the 
birds. 

3. Play a bird game with your friends. All the players 
but one, who is IT sit in a circle. IT, standing in the 
center, points to a player, saying, "Bird, one, two, three, 
four, five!" The player pointed at must name a bird 
not previously named by a player during the game, be- 
fore IT says "Five," or take the place of IT. The game 
may be varied by saying "Bug" or "Beast" instead of 
"Bird," at the will of IT. 

To learn: i. Matthew 6. 26; or Isaiah 65. i4a; or Mat- 
thew 10. 29-31. 



92 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

2. "The Sandpiper," or some other short poem about 
birds. . 

3. Learn to identify as many birds as possible in your 
neighborhood. 

He giveth to the beast his food, 
And to the young ravens which cry. 

Psalms 147. 9. 



LESSON IX 
BIRD GUARDIANS 

No, I do not mean the eagles, though they are 
our national bird, and are stamped on our coins. 
I am thinking of far less imposing and lordly feath- 
ered creatures than eagles. I have in mind the 
woodpeckers and the nuthatches, the warblers, the 
vireos and the meadow larks, the gulls and the 
owls. 

"Owls!" do I hear you exclaim in horror: "owls 
are not guardians. We need to guard against owls: 
they steal poultry." Not so fast, not so fast, my 
child! There is much to be said for the owl, as 
you shall find out presently. 

Of course you have always admired the birds 
for their pretty ways and their delightful songs. 
You have watched for their coming in the spring, 
and have been sorry to see them fly south when 
the cold autumn winds began to blow. Did you 
ever stop to think how useful the birds are? You 
know how the earthworm serves us. You love 
the honey that the bee gives. You think that even 
the ant and the spider may have a part to play in 
making and keeping our world in order. But what 
do the birds do? 

"Four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie; 
When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing, 
Isn't that a pretty dish to set before the king?" 

That is what many have said about birds fit only 

93 



94 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

to kill and eat. It took a great many years for 
people to learn how stupid and foolish this is, 
but we are coming now took now that birds are as 
useful creatures as live on the earth. We could 
not get on without our plowmen earthworms, to 
be sure; nor could the earthworms get on without 
the birds. If now and then a hungry robin makes 
an early breakfast from a worm, he has helped the 
earthworms by making possible the green food the 
worms need. 

There are so many harmful insects that live on 
cultivated plants, the leaves of trees, in the crevices 
of the bark or under it, even in the fruit of trees, 
that it is said they would in ten years, if unchecked, 
eat every green thing off the earth! But our good 
guardians keep always busy at their work of watch- 
ing these destructive insects. Bugs and beetles, 
their eggs and larvae, worms of more kinds than 
can be mentioned here, all are sought out and 
destroyed by the sharp-eyed and busy little birds. 
If it were otherwise, you and I would go very 
hungry indeed. 

Someone has figured out that every meadow 
lark eats enough grasshoppers in every season to 
make that lark worth a dollar to the farmer. The 
farmer who kills enough of these songsters to make 
a single pie has had a pretty expensive dinner, 
has he not? Insects make up almost three quarters 
of the lark's food; the rest is largely weed seeds. 
Do you not agree that the man who allows a lark 
to be shot on his farm could as wisely make a bon- 
fire of his money? He would be no poorer in pocket, 
and the world be happier, since the song of the 
lark would still remain! 



BIRD GUARDIANS 95 

Birds need far more food in proportion to their 
size than does man. Their hearts beat faster, and 
their blood is so much warmer that in humans 
it would indicate a high fever. All of this demands 
much food to keep the tiny life going, and so birds 
are kept very busy searching for something to eat. 
It is hard to guess how much is actually eaten, 
though persons who have tried to bring up by hand 
young birds that have been injured or that have 
fallen out of the nest, have more than once been 
quite astonished at the amount of food that a 
nestling demands in a day. Many birds eat their 
own weight of food in twenty-four hours. If you 
were to eat as much in proportion to your size, it 
would mean that you would require forty, fifty, or 
sixty pounds of food per" day. 

Stop, then, to think how tiny are many of the 
eggs, the bugs, or the worms that the birds eat, 
and guess, if you can, how many of the trouble- 
some creatures our guardians make way with in 
a single day. In a season all of the birds probably 
eat many tons of such food food, that, if allowed 
to live and grow, would spoil our crops, our fruit, 
our trees. Do you not think we can afford to let 
the robins, for example, have a few of our cherries 
and strawberries, or permit the mocking bird to 
eat a few grapes in payment for the really splendid 
service they give us? 

Among the helpful little guardians that you may 
watch at their work are the warblers. There are 
many members cousins, if you wish in this large 
family. They seem to like insect eggs extremely 
well, and begin with them. When the fresh-egg 
season is over, and the larvae have come from the 



96 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

eggs, the warblers turn attention to them. After 
a time all the larvae turn into insects, and then the 
birds begin on the insect itself. 

But another point will interest you. All of the 
warbler family do not work on the same part of 
the tree. There seems to be a very sensible and 
convenient division of work among them. God has 
given some of them slender little bodies, and special 
tools for doing special kinds of work. Certain of 
them will care for the tree trunks and the larger 
branches, looking into each tiny crack for eggs 
that may be hidden away. Others hunt through 
the twigs and the foliage, peeping under each leaf 
and looking over each stem. They know where 
the. clever insects are likely to hide their eggs! 
Still others work largely on the ground, searching 
under dead leaves and catching many an insect 
that would harm the lower part of the tree. All 
of them are very fine aviators: they can take nose 
dives, and make sudden and unexpected swoops 
from limb, telephone wire, or tree branch, to catch 
fly or insect that is floating by, looking, it may be, 
for a safe place to hide some more eggs. 

There is many an interesting story to be read in 
the lives of some of the insects on which the birds 
live, and none is more fascinating than that which 
has to do with the way the insects try to defend 
themselves against the birds. Whole books have 
been written about this one side of insect life alone, 
and you will find many pages about it in your 
library. One way that some insects have taken 
is to grow a hairy coat, and to look very fierce. 
Suppose you were a bit of a warbler, and were to 
encounter in a tree a huge tent caterpillar? Do*you 



BIRD GUARDIANS 97 

not think it would look to you like a monster? 
That hairy coat that so many of the caterpillars 
wear must seem most unpleasant to the smaller 
birds, and many of them will not touch these 
roughly-clad customers. But larger birds, like the 
slim cuckoo, are not so particular about a few hairs. 
These birds can easily get in and out among 
the thick branches of the trees, and they make 
short work of the caterpillars. They eat them, 
hairs and all. Do you not agree that we can for- 
give the cuckoo for the disagreeable and lazy trick 
of foisting her egg and the bringing up of her chil- 
dren, on some other mother, when she proves her- 
self such a useful member of the world society? 

Orioles too eat caterpillars, beetles, cut-worms, 
and a long list of other harmful life. Their food 
list is nearly as long as is our own, though I am sure 
you will think it not at all like ours. But without 
them we would be in a very sad fix. A worm- 
infested tree in a California yard was visited morn- 
ing after morning, for several days, by a Bullock's 
oriole. The owners watched the bird's attack on 
the worms from a screened porch, hardly daring to 
whisper, lest the little helper be frightened away. 
When the tree was quite cleaned, the oriole returned 
no more. His police duties no doubt took him to 
other quarters. 

The purple martin is a member of the swallow 
family and may be coaxed to settle in almost any 
yard, if a suitable house which cats cannot enter 
is provided. Martins like swinging nests, such as 
may be easily made from dried gourds. They are 
social little things, and will live happily in bird 
apartment houses that provide for several families. 



98 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Peach growers often hang such nests near their 
orchards, or erect tall poles to hold a house, and 
feel that they are a hundredfold repaid by the 
destruction of tree pests on the part of the martins. 

The chipping sparrows, the grosbeak, wrens, nut- 
hatches, and chickadees, all are helpful little 
guardians. Hundreds of harmful insects are de- 
stroyed by them, and much of their vegetable food 
is made up of weed seeds. The wren may be coaxed 
to become your near neighbor by providing her a 
box for a home, the entrance to which is so small 
the English sparrow cannot pass. This fighting 
little fellow disputes the right of possession with 
the wren whenever there is a chance of an outcome 
favorable to the sparrow, and Jenny Wren is no 
match for such a foe ! 

A beautiful bird that looks after our shade trees 
is the downy woodpecker. He wears a tiny red 
cap, and a black coat striped with white. His tail 
is wedge-shaped, and helps him to keep his place 
on the bark of a tree, as he goes round and round 
the trunk, looking in every tiny crack for insect 
or grub. Let him once hear the faintest sound of 
creeping creature in a bit of dead wood below the 
bark, and he uses his strong bill as both hammer 
and chisel, to dig out the intruder, and make way 
with him. This good citizen is one of our best 
helpers. Indeed, he is so valuable in preserving 
the forests that Enos R. Mills has given him a 
whole chapter, and he names him "Dr. Woodpecker, 
Tree Surgeon." He tells of the way the wood- 
pecker uses his barbed tongue to pull out a borer 
when he has drilled his careful hole, and writes 
such a fascinating account of his tree work that 



BIRD GUARDIANS 99 

you will all wish to read it for yourself. Certainly, 
you will always feel a thrill of gratitude hereafter 
whenever you hear the drumming of the wood- 
pecker on a dry tree branch, for you will take it 
as a sign that he is about his very important busi- 
ness of preserving the trees from their enemies, or 
drilling holes to fill with nuts for winter. 

One bird that has been not a little misunderstood 
and charged with being a robber is the owl. Owls 
undoubtedly have been sometimes guilty of robbing 
the farmer of chickens. I once saw a very large 
owl caught in a trap set for him in the front of the 
chicken yard; he had been taking several chickens 
every night until the angry farmer resolved to 
stop his thieving. But such deeds are rather rare. 
A news item in a California paper not long ago 
told of two school boys who found a nest belonging 
to two owls. There were six eggs in the nest, all 
of which hatched. The boys kept careful count 
of the food brought to the baby owls, and learned 
that in the first seven weeks of their lives the young 
owls ate three hundred and seventeen gophers and 
ten mice. The parents almost surely ate twice 
as many rodents as they fed to their babies. Do 
you wonder that these boys refused one hundred 
dollars for the two birds? 

Another bird lover banded a pair of owls ten 
years ago, and thus he knows that they come back 
year after year to nest in the same college tower. 
In one year he found on the floor of the tower room 
nearly a thousand skulls of rodents that had been 
eaten by the owls. If each year the owls raised 
five young, which was the average for the nest in 
the ten years, and each birdling ate ten mice a 



ioo OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

night, during the seven weeks they remained in 
the nest, do you not think they were doing their 
share in keeping these pests under control? Sup- 
pose all these young birds lived, made their own 
nests, and raised their own young, feeding them 
at the same rate, how many hundreds of rats, 
mice, gophers, and squirrels have been eaten by 
this family and their children in the ten years? 
You must remember too that all of the animals 
named as food of owls are harmful and destructive. 
They destroy food and material in vast amounts 
every year, and probably do much to spread dis- 
ease, so the owls are helping greatly when they 
catch and kill them. 

It would take far too long to tell you of all the 
ways in which birds of different kinds act as 
guardians. It can only be suggested that many 
birds, such as gulls and buzzards, serve as scaven- 
gers, and help by keeping our shores and inland 
stretches clean by removing dead and decaying 
fish and flesh. Other birds keep down the destruc- 
tive weeds, and it is estimated that even the noisy 
and disagreeable English sparrow kills enough 
noxious weeds every year to pay his way. You 
should study the birds of your own community, 
find out what they eat and how they live, and what 
you can do to make them more useful. Perhaps 
the best way for you to serve is by making houses 
for them. Perhaps you can more easily help by 
planting the wild fruit that they like; this may 
keep them from feeding on your cultivated fruit, 
and at the same time persuade them to stay and 
fight your insect enemies. In this way you will 
be paying a part of your debt to your guardians, 



BIRD GUARDIANS 101 

and you will be helping your Father in caring for 
his creatures. For you remember that Jesus said: 
"Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow 
not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; 
and your heavenly Father feedeth them." You 
will like to think, too, of the lesson of trust Jesus 
taught, when he looked at the men in the streets 
selling sparrows to the poor people: "Are not two 
sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them 
shall fall on the ground without your Father. Fear 
not, therefore: ye are of more value than many 
sparrows" (Matt. 10. 29, 31). 

There are many lessons of trust, of cheerfulness, 
of making the best of things, of happy industry, 
that the birds have for us if we will look for them, 
and when we once realize how much of our welfare 
and happiness depends on their careful guardianship 
of our trees and crops, our American sense of fair 
play will make us wish to repay our feathered neigh- 
bors by caring for them in the best ways we can find. 

If you would like to know what would happen 
if all our birds were killed or banished, find Henry 
W. Longfellow's poem, "The Birds of Killing- 
worth," and you will get a picture of a place with- 
out a bird. Would you like to live in such a place? 
How many ways can you find of making sure that 
your town will never be in the unhappy situation 
in which Killingworth found itself? 

Something to do: 

i. Make a list of the birds that you have seen in your 
community. Which ones stay all the year? Which ones 
do you see only in the summer? Which ones come only 
in winter? 



102 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

2. Make a list of the birds that are mentioned in the 
Bible. Find a fine Bible description of some bird. 

3. Find and read the story of Saint Francis of Assisi 
and the birds. 

4. Learn and recite a beautiful bird poem. 

To learn: 

Matthew 6. 26: Behold the birds of the heaven, that 
they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; 
and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye 
of much more value than they? or 

Matthew 10. 31: Fear not therefore: ye are of more 
value than many sparrows. 

He sendeth forth springs into the valleys; 

They run among the mountains; 

They give drink to every beast of the field. . . . 

By them the birds of the heavens have then* habitation; 

They sing among the branches. 

Psalm 104. 10, n, 12. 



LESSON X 
LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS 

MEN who own houses for rent are always eager 
to find good tenants to occupy them, tenants who 
will prove pleasant neighbors and who will make 
a community to which other tenants will like to 
come. I am sure you will feel that no neighbors 
could be found who would be more desirable than 
the birds of which we talked in the last lesson, and 
I suspect you will find that playing landlord to 
them will bring you a great amount of pleasure 
and interest. How shall you go about it? 

The answer depends upon the season of the year 
in which you are starting out to be a landlord. 
Let us suppose that it is early winter. You think 
this is a very unfavorable time to start? Not at 
all! The number and the kind of birds that stay 
with you all winter will depend not a little on the 
part of the country in which you live, but in almost 
any section you will find a surprisingly large group 
that stay the entire year. Take a bird census and 
learn the names of those that belong in your com- 
munity, and then you will know how to begin 
your work. 

You may need some help in this census-taking. 
Let us suppose that you live in the vicinity of New 
York City, or not far from the forty-second degree 
of latitude. Then you will find Neltje Blanchan's 
seasonal list of birds, as given in Bird Neighbors, 

103 



164 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

will be of use. Take the list and see how many 
of the birds named you can discover for yourself. 

You will find several good bird books in your 
library; one has been written for the Eastern part 
of the United States, and one for the Western. 
If you live in the country, you will go to the woods 
and the thickets to look for the birds described in 
these pages. You will perhaps search along quiet 
roadsides, where weeds still stand with seed cases 
not yet emptied, or you will walk through an old 
cornfield, if some of the shocks have been left 
standing. Your snow-blanketed vegetable garden 
may be another good place to find the birds at 
breakfast. 

If you are a city dweller, you need not be dis- 
couraged. Many a city boy or girl has had as many 
bird friends as any lad or lass that lived in the open 
spaces. City parks, as well as country woods, 
offer a resting place to birds, and you will be sur- 
prised to see how many feathered visitors you can 
coax to your city windows when you send out the 
right sort of invitations. 

What invitations should you use? In winter, 
first of all, food! Think how hard it must be for 
birds to find food when snow covers the ground, 
and ice coats the weeds so that every little seed 
is well hidden. If you provide good cafeterias for 
the birds, you will quickly find how eagerly they 
will come to enjoy them. 

Sometimes the very best way possible is to 
place a broad shelf outside the window. This you 
will keep free from snow, and every morning you 
will spread crumbs, bird seed, bits of meat, suet 
and nuts on the shelf. If you are careful not to 



LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS 105 

frighten the birds at first, it will not be long before 
you can watch them as they eat, and you will 
learn many interesting things about these brave 
little winter friends. 

It is a good plan, when you can do so, to make 
a sliding shelter, putting it on a wire and letting 
it slide from your house into the branches of a tree. 
It is easy to fasten a rope to one side of the box, 
so that it can be pulled back every day to be re- 
filled. Such a shelter can be made very easily by 
any boy or girl. Use a starch box for it, cutting 
the ends into points to form a gable. Make a 
roof that projects a little, as this will prove a better 
protection from snow and wind. Cut the sides 
away to allow the birds free entrance, and to make 
the shelter light enough for comfort. A small wire 
basket may be fastened at each end to hold suet 
and meat scraps. 

If an evergreen tree with thick, sheltering foliage 
grows near your home, strips of suet may be tied 
to this for the birds. Strong shallow baskets firmly 
tied or securely nailed to tree trunks will make a 
good bird dining room also. Perhaps you have a 
porch roof easily reached from a second-story 
window, which you can keep free of snow and well 
spread with the dainties that birds like best. 

You may prefer to make a feeding shelter to be 
placed on the top of a pole, and provided with 
broad sides that will serve as weather vanes. If 
this shelter is pivoted so that it will swing as the 
wind blows, feeding birds will always be protected 
from the cold winds as they eat. 

Neltje Blanchan, in How to Attract the Birds, 
gives directions for making up a bird food, which 



106 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

can be prepared and cooked in quantities, then 
packed away for use as needed. You will like to 
try this. 

But your fun as a landlord to the birds has only 
begun when you cater to them in the winter. You 
will find that bathing tubs bring them quite as 
surely as well-filled dining tables, for birds are 
very clean and dainty little creatures, and love a 
safe, cool bath. In setting up bird baths you must 
remember two or three points. The first concerns 
cats! Cats love birds as food, and we must not 
blame them too much; they are but following the 
laws of their nature when they stalk and kill birds. 
One way to prevent the killing of birds by cats 
is to banish the cats. Another way, less sure, is 
to see that Pussy is well fed, so that birds do not 
offer too great a temptation. A third way is to 
place baths, shelters, and houses on poles or in 
trees, too far above the ground for a cat to spring 
to them; then you should also place around the 
tree a guard which cats, snakes, and red squirrels 
cannot pass. A broad strip of tin, which can be 
made from old cans opened by melting the solder 
over a hot fire, will be useful if nothing better can 
be had. The very best guard is one of wire, the 
lower part of it extending outward like a many- 
ribbed open umbrella. Such a guard is very useful 
and looks well on a tree. 

As to the form of your bath for birds, that may 
be left to your own choice. Only let it be shallow, 
as a deep bath offers too many dangers to the small 
birds. They may easily drown. If the bath is 
broad enough to permit, you may add stones on 
which the birds may perch. In any case you should 



LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS 107 

place the bath where it will be partly sheltered, 
and where birds have not far to fly for a safe perch 
while they preen and dress their feathers. 

If you can arrange a bath so that water will 
continually flow into and out of it, this will be 
most satisfactory.. If this is not possible, you can 
change the water every day, and perhaps in the 
hottest part of the season it will need to be replaced 
twice a day. But how your feathered tenants will 
enjoy it, and how well they will repay you with 
songs and antics and pretty ways! Do not miss 
this part of the fun of being a landlord. 

An equally important part of your duties as 
landlord is the providing of proper homes for birds. 
Now, birds of many a feather will peaceably share 
a common bath, and a bath of almost any sort, 
provided it will hold water. But not so when it 
comes to selecting a home for the season, a home 
in which the precious eggs are to be laid, and the 
more precious babies are to be brought up. Here 
is a point at which you will need to use your very 
best judgment as a landlord 1 

In spite of the fact that the English sparrow is 
a useful bird as an insect destroyer, he does make 
a nuisance of himself in other ways sometimes, and 
it is well to have this in mind when building bird 
houses. It is said, for example, that bluebirds 
like a house that swings from a wire better than 
one that is fixed. The sparrow does not like this 
kind of house, so if you suspend your house you 
are more likely to attract bluebirds than sparrows. 
Try it and see if this is true. 

Again, the sparrow does not hesitate to drive 
Jenny Wren from any shelter that he fancies, pro- 



io8 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

vided he can get in to take possession. But Jenny 
can enter a hole through which the larger sparrow 
cannot squeeze himself. When you are making 
a house for the wren, be sure that you make the 
opening just big enough to be comfortable for her, 
and the fighting little sparrow will be forced to leave 
her alone. 

It is also said that many birds are very particular 
about the height of their homes, and that sometimes 
they will pass by an attractive house again and 
again when fixed at one height, only to take pos- 
session of it eagerly when it is raised or lowered. 
Books tell you to put martih houses at heights 
varying all the way from eight feet to forty feet! 
I think you will just have to try till you find out 
the height best suited to the birds of your own 
section. John Burroughs, who studied our birds 
so carefully, said that most of our song birds build 
low, half of them making nests less than five feet 
from the ground, and three-quarters of them in 
nests less than ten feet from the ground. Find 
out if this is true of the birds in your section. List 
the birds that build below the five-foot line; list 
those that build above the ten-foot line. Ask your- 
self why birds choose their nest sites as they do. 
Long, long ago a singer thought about this very 
question, and he put his thoughts into a lovely 
song. You may read it in Psalm 84. What do 
you think his answer means? 

From what are you to make your houses? From 
almost anything that is at hand. Tin cans may be 
turned into a house that will suit many a bird 
tenant. They may be laid on the side, the open- 
ing being covered by a board through which an 



LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS 109 

entrance has been cut. The can may stand on end, 
with a semicircular piece cut on the side, and bent 
down to form an alighting place. Holes ought to 
be punched in the back of the house to permit 
ventilation. Tin can houses ought also to be cov- 
ered with bark or wood, both to make them cooler 
by protecting them from the sun's rays, and to 
hide their glitter, which birds do not like. Many 
clever houses may be made from them, however, 
and it will be good fun to spend the long winter 
evenings in devising ways to use them, and then 
you will have your supply of dwellings ready in 
plenty of time for the first tenants who arrive 
from the South. 

Gourds provided with stout cord or raffia hangers, 
and baskets woven from reed and raffia, or willow 
and raffia, are other possibilities. I once saw a 
cunning nest made of five bits of board and a ball 
of twine: this was a clever idea that the maker 
learned from a tiny bird that built her nest in a 
twine ball he had left tucked in the supports of 
an arbor. 

Other bird landlords have used the bark-covered 
slabs that can be found at saw mills, and which 
boys can quickly turn into usable houses with a 
little work. Robins are said to prefer open houses, 
with little more than a roof, particularly when 
it is well hidden among the shrubbery. Other 
birds like better to live in holes hollowed in trees; 
these birds would be attracted to houses made 
from small logs, sawed -into , halves, hollowed 'out, 
and then nailed or screwed together again. 
. After a seas'on ;lor two -of experimenting: and 
designing, .you will find- yourself .well ^equipped 



no 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



play the part of a successful landlord to the birds; 
and it is safe to say that nothing you do will give 




(Photograph by H. L. Bohlman. By permission of Nature Magazine. May, 1924) 

THE JOY OF MAKING BIRD HOUSES 

you more pure joy. Your care for these little beings 
so wonderfully made by God will be rewarded a 



LANDLORD TO THE BIRDS in 

hundred times; and you will have the delight of 
knowing that you have added much to the pleasant- 
ness and beauty of his world. 

Something to do: 

1. Read Longfellow's "The Birds of Killingworth. " 
Make a little play of the poem, and invite your friends 
to see you give it. 

2. Get all of your friends, both boys and girls, to make 
bird houses from original or copied designs. Have the 
birdhouses put on exhibition at a certain day. Ask some 
older people, perhaps the mayor of your village and your 
minister, to serve as a committee to decide which is the 
best, the most original, and the most useful of these 
houses. A red, a blue, and a white ribbon, may mark 
the first choices. 

3. Arrange for a Bird Day, when throughout your 
community your bird houses will be put in place for the 
use of the birds. 

4. Make a collection of colored prints of birds. Mount 
these pictures nicely on cardboard, leaving a good margin 
at the bottom. As you see each bird in your own vicinity, 
place the date and the locality under the picture. 

5. Try to find some person who will imitate for you 
the songs and cries of your local birds. A very inter- 
esting entertainment can be given by such a person. 
If you charge a small sum for admission, you may be 
able to interest people and also to secure money to build 
a bird fountain. 

6. Perhaps you will like, yourself, to learn to imitate 
bird calls. 

To learn: 

Luke 9. 58: ... The birds of the heaven have nests. 
Matthew 10. 42: Whosoever shall give to drink unto 
one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the 



ii2 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no 
wise lose his reward; or 

Isaiah 11.9: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my 
holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowl- 
edge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. 



PART III 
GARDEN LIFE 



LESSON XI 
HOW PLANTS GROW 

And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs 
yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after then* 
kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and 
it was so. And the earth brought forth, grass, herbs 
yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, 
wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God 
saw that it was good. Genesis i. n, 12. 

DON and his small friend Hugh were at work 
weeding a bit of new lawn, when Hugh, who had 
been resting a minute and gazing at the row of 
cannas that stood against the house, said, "What 
big leaves those cannas do have! Leaves are just 
the most important part of a plant, aren't they, 
Don?" 

"No, sir, not at all!" replied Don. "The roots 
are the most important part; look at this one I 
have just pulled; it is several inches long." 

"Silly!" laughed Ruth; "you are both wrong. 
The flower is the most important part, of course. 
Doesn't mother always water and trim her plants 
so they will have just the best flowers she can get 
from them?" 

"Let's ask mother," cried Don. "This weeding 
is nearly done, and it's too hot to work longer in 
the sun, anyway." 

So the three went to the shady porch, where 
mother was busy with some sewing, arid asked to 



n6 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

be told which is really the most important part of 
the plant. 

"To answer that, we will need to see what parts 
the plant has, and just what each does for the 
plant," said mother. "Suppose you pull up two or 
three plants by the roots, wash them free of soil, 
and bring them to me. Don, you may bring 
several weeds. Hugh, pull a little bean plant, a 
lettuce, and a tomato plant from the garden, and 
Ruth, you may find a young radish and a little 
beet plant." * 

In five minutes the children were back with the 
plants, and Don brought the magnifying glass 
from the library. 

"Suppose you look at the roots first,, and tell me 
what they are like," suggested mother. 

"They are just like thick threads, and there are 
ever so many hairs growing from them," said Hugh, 
as he looked sharply at his bean plant. "What 
are the hairs for, and what is a root good for any- 
way?" 

"I have found out one thing roots are for," 
answered Don, promptly. "It is to hold the plant 
firmly in the ground. Didn't I have to tug to get 
some of these weeds out?" 

"Indeed you did," smiled mother, "and that is 
one very good use that roots have. Can you think 
of another?" 

"Don't .the plants eat through their roots?" 
asked Ruth. 

"Yes," answered mother. "That is how they 
get food. The little hairs suck in the water and 
other material that makes the plant grow. If you 
look through the glass, you can see a tiny cap on 



HOW PLANTS GROW 



117 



each root, like a very wee 
thimble. This is to protect 
the end from hard sub- 
stances that would wear or 
hurt the root, as it pushes 
its way through the soil in 
search for food for the 
plant." 

"The hairs are so tiny 
I should think it would 
be hard for much food to 
get through them," said 
Don. 

"One of the most inter- 
esting things about: the 
plant is the way it prepares 
its food," replied mother. 
"You do not eat sugar, 
but you put it in your 
cocoa, where it dissolves. 
In very much the same way 
the solid earth food is dis- 
solved in a sort of acid 
that is in each tiny root- 
let. This makes it possible 
for the roots to suck in 
the food; you might say 
the roots make a soup for 
the plant to drink." 

"Plant sou p h o w 
funny!" chuckled Hugh. 
But Don said, checking off 
on his fingers: 

'Two uses of roots j to 



The Buttercup 




ttr 




of root 

root thimble 
(enlarged) 



n8 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

hold the plant and to feed the plant. Any more, 
mother?" 

"Certainly," said mother, very promptly. "At 
least some roots have another use. What vegetable 
did you have for lunch, Don?" 

"Creamed carrots and beet salad," answered 
Don at once. 

"And what part of the plant did you eat?" asked 
mother. 

"Why, I never thought, but I suppose it must 
be the root," replied Don. 

"But. it's not a bit like my bean plant root," 
objected Hugh. 

"No," said mother, "you are right. The bean 
roots and others like them are called fibrous roots, 
since they look so much like fibers or threads. 
Fat roots like those of the beet, the carrot, or the 
radish, which Ruth has here, are called fleshy 
roots. They are really storehouses for the plant. 
You know plants like the radish, the beet, and the 
carrot do not spend much energy in making fine 
blossoms or fine fruit. They lay by the extra food 
that might be used in this way in their roots, and 
that is just why we choose to use them on our 
tables there is so much good food stored up in 
their big fleshy roots." 

"Then the roots are the most important parts, 
aren't they, mother?" demanded Don. 

"Stems are important too," said Ruth, before 
mother could answer. 

"Humph! stems!" cried Hugh. "Why, some 
plants don't have any stems at all. My narcissus 
plants haven't any; they just sit on the ground." 

"We won't decide yet which is the most im- 



HOW PLANTS GROW 119 

portant part of the plant," said mother. "But let 
us think of Hugh's narcissus plant for a minute. 
It is true that some plants have no stems, and we 
name them sessile, from a Latin word that means 
exactly what Hugh said 'sitting.' But the wise 
men tell us that the narcissus does have a stem, 
though it is not strange that Hugh should think 
it has none. What did you put in the ground to 
get your narcissus flowers, Hugh?" 

"It was a little round fat brown thing, some- 
thing like an onion," answered Hugh. 

"That is what we call a bulb," said mother. 
"If you had wished, you could have stripped off 
layer after layer of what are really brown under- 
ground leaves. Your bulb is an underground stem, 
from which the leaves and the roots grow. Plants 
of this sort store their food in these thick under- 
ground stems, and the real roots are the tiny fibers 
that grow from them." 

"Then I suppose that, if plants store food in their 
stems, we sometimes eat stems," suggested Ruth. 

Mother's eyes twinkled. "Indeed we do," she 
said. "We had stems for dinner yesterday, and 
will have others for dinner to-day." 

"I know!" cried Don. "Asparagus!" 

"Celery too," added Hugh. 

Mother nodded. "Something else, besides those 
two very good stems," she said. 

"Surely not potatoes," suggested Ruth, hes- 
itatingly. 

"And why not?" asked mother. "It may be a 
queer-looking stem, but if you will look closely 
at a potato you will see little buds starting from 
the 'eyes' or marks on the potato. The little scales 



120 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

are really leaves. So the potato cannot be a true 
root for only root hairs and root branches grow on 
the roots." 

"Do we eat any other stems?" asked Hugh. 

"Suppose you think about it and tell me to- 
morrow," said mother. "Try to find other uses 
that the stem has too, for you must remember 
that plants do not grow just to feed hungry boys 
and girls." 

"I was sure stems are important, but I think 
leaves must be most important of all," said Ruth, 
decidedly. "Aren't they, mother?" 

Mother held up a warning finger. "Do not 
decide too quickly. Remember the true scientist 
gets all the facts first and then . comes to a con- 
clusion. Let us see what work the leaves have to 
do for a plant." 

'Work!" cried Hugh. "Do plants have to work?" 
c Certainly!" said mother, "especially if they 
would grow and be healthy, and have a nice family 
of children. We spoke a little while ago about the 
broth the roots dissolve out of the earth for the 
plants. This is a kind of raw food. How would you 
like it if you never had any but raw food to eat?" 

"Oh, that would be dreadful!" cried Don and 
Hugh in a breath. 

"Plants do not like raw food any better than 
you do," said mother, "so one part of their work 
is to cook food, or at any rate to prepare the broth 
for the use of the plant. Where do you suppose 
this is done? Where is the fire for the cooking?" 

"The sun?" suggested Ruth, doubtfully. 

"How can the sun reach down to the roots, and 
cook the broth?" objected Hugh. 



to 
tf I 



HOW PLANTS GROW 121 

"I know, I know," cried Don. "The sun does 
the cooking, but the kitchen is the leaves, and not 
the roots!" 

"Quite right!" agreed mother. 

"But how does the broth run up hill to the 
leaves?" questioned Ruth. 

"That is hard to understand," said mother, 
"and the very wisest men are not altogether sure 
about it themselves. But you know it does run 
up. You have broken off a milkweed, or a poin- 
settia, or some other leaf that grows on a plant 
with milky juice, and you have seen how the plant 
'bleeds.' And you can understand that when the 
juice runs all through the leaves that are spread 
out in the sun it will be 'cooked' in the heat. But 
the leaves are more than kitchens for the plant; 
it is through them that the plant breathes and 
perspires." 

"Oh, mother, does a plant really breathe?" 
asked Ruth with much interest. 

"Do you remember those dusty weeds that grew 
along that sandy stretch of road just beyond grand- 
father's barn? How did they look?" asked mother. 

"Why, as if they were sick and almost ready to 
die," answered Ruth. 

"That was just because the dust had covered 
them so thickly they could not breathe well; they 
were choked so that the air could not pass in through 
the little openings or mouths that you can see on 
every leaf if you look at it through a microscope. 
Do you not remember how the aphides choked up 
the rose leaves till they died and dropped?" 

"And you said plants perspire too," suggested 
Don. 



122 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"You can prove that for yourselves," answered 
mother. "Take a leaf and press it against the 
window pane. You will see the water collect on 
the glass just as it does when you breathe on the 
glass. When a plant gives off water faster than it 
takes it in, what do you think happens?" 

"Why, I should think it must wilt!" cried Hugh. 

"That is just what happens," agreed mother. 
"Some plants perspire much more than others. A 
single big sunflower plant may give off as much as 
a quart of water in a day. It is thought that a 
lawn that contains an acre of ground gives off 
several tons of water in twenty-four hours. The 
reason a leaf fades and wilts when it is broken from 
the plant is that the water keeps on going out 
through the little mouths, and there is no way of 
replacing it after the connection with the plant has 
been broken." 

"Does grandfather cover his young plants in the 
garden to keep them from losing water too fast?" 
asked Don, recalling the way the young cabbages 
had been looked after the summer before. 

"Just for that very reason," answered mother. 
"Some plants these same cabbages can help them- 
selves to keep the water from oozing out when 
they are grown stronger. Did you ever notice the 
waxy covering on the cabbage leaves or on the 
rubberplant? Other plants grow a covering of fine 
hairs. Some plants that grow in places where the 
sun is very hot will hang their leaves so the sun 
cannot strike much of the surface in the hottest 
part of the day. Still others have leaves that are 
very small, or they may have fewer mouths through 
which the water can pass." 



HOW PLANTS GROW 123 

"Leaves are certainly the most no, very im- 
portant, parts of the plant, aren't they, mother?" 
asked Ruth. 

"They most certainly are," agreed mother, smil- 
ing, "and the next time we will talk about a special 
kind of leaf that very, very many plants have. 
These leaves have a most important work to do, 
and I think you will wish to find out all you can 
about it. Perhaps you can discover just what we 
call these leaves before next time." 

"Root, stem, leaf," said Don, thoughtfully fin- 
gering the plant in his hand. "Each part has its 
own work to do, hasn't it, mother? A plant is a 
sort of vegetable city, just as ants are an insect 
city, only it is stuck fast in one place and can't 
move about." 

"Yes," agreed mother, "each part of the plant 
has its own place to fill. Each fits into a part 
of God's plan, and helps in his work. Plants, 
as well as animals, are created by his hand. Do 
you remember the verses you had last week at 
our morning hour about God's care of the plant 
world?" 

"Oh, yes," cried Don. 

" 'Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; 
And thy paths drop fatness. 

** 

The valleys also are covered over with grain; 
They shout for joy, they also sing.' " 

"And my verse was, 'He maketh grass to grow 
upon the mountains,' " said Hugh. 



124 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Mine is the best of all," said Ruth. "It is 

'Thou openest thine hand, 
And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.' " 

"I like to think of the plants as neighbors," said 
Don, "and I mean to know ever so much more 
about them before I stop!" 

Something to do : 

1. Dig up and study some simple plant, noting its 
parts. 

2. Draw or trace in your notebook a simple plant. 
Mark the parts root, stem, leaf. 

3. Look in a textbook of botany, and learn the names 
of different kinds of stems. Make a list of as many as 
you can find, and give an example of each. 

4. Find out for yourself if leaves of plants do perspire* 

5. Place a few seeds, like those of radish or grass, on 
blotting paper or cotton in the bottom of a dish. Pour 
a little water in the dish. Cover with a glass and keep 
in a warm place. Do not permit the seeds to get dry. 
Watch their growth, and make drawing of them in your 
book. 

6. Make a list of a dozen plants that are of most use 
to man. 

7. Make a list of the plants that are most useful to 
animals other than man. 

To learn: Psalm 65. 9-13; or Genesis i. n, 12. 



LESSON XII 
A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, 
neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon 
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
Luke 12. 27. 

"I'VE thought and thought, and I can't find any 
special leaves or any special work they do," said 
Ruth, as the three children gathered on the porch 
for the next talk about plants. 

"I think I know, mother," said Don, eagerly. 
"I asked my teacher, and she says you must mean 
the flower. She says many people say that the 
little green things just below some blossoms bracts, 
she called them and the green leaves around the 
flower cup, and even the colored flower leaves, are 
just changed real leaves. And she says, too, that 
those little threads in the very middle of the flower 
are changed leaves, and that some of them show 
ridges just like the middle rib of the leaf," and Don 
sank back in his chair and took a long breath after 
this lengthy speech. 

Mother smiled at the eager and questioning 
faces of the three. 

"That is a very fair statement of fact," she said, 
"and I am glad you took the pains to get it all so 
clear in your mind. Not all flowers show the change 
clearly, but you can study it for yourself in the 
peony. Some time, when you have a water lily, 
see if you can tell just where the white petals stop 

125 



126 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

and the yellow 'threads,' as Don calls them, begin. 
Some petals are almost 'threads' and some 'threads' 
are almost petals." 

"The threads have a special name, but I do not 
remember it," said Don, apologetically. 

"Yes," said mother, "there is a special name for 
these parts, and we will learn it soon. It is not 
hard, and we may as well learn to call things 
properly. But before we try to get the name, 
look carefully at a flower, and tell just what you 
see. This cherry blossom will do splendidly for 
study, for all its parts are so easy to see." 

"Let me start," begged Hugh, and at mother's 
nod, he bent over the flower. "First, on the out- 
side is. a little green cup, cut into parts." 

"That," said mother, "is called the calyx, and the 
separate parts or leaves into which it. is cut are 
called sepals. What do you suppose the calyx is 
good for? Look at these buds that have not opened 
and you may find one reason." 

"I should think it would help keep the little 
flower leaves inside safe and warm," suggested Hugh. 

"Good!" replied mother; "I am glad you are 
thinking. Now, Ruth, what next?" 

"There is a cup of white leaves," replied Ruth. 

"This cup," said mother, "is called the corolla, 
which means 'crown,' and each separate part or 
leaf is a petal" 

"Oh, those are easy words!" cried Ruth. "Calyx, 
sepals, corolla, petals. I like knowing the right 
names, mother!" 

"Now, Don, tell us what is next," smiled mother. 

"A number of little threads with bundles of 
yellow powder on the ends," replied Don. 



A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 



127 





.- petal 
stamen 
-sepal 



L-stamen with pollen 
(enlarged) 



- pistil 



"These little threads are called stamens, from a 
word that means 'standing,' " said mother. "The 
powder has its own name too. It is called pollen. 
It is made up of many tiny grains, each one beau- 
tifully shaped and marked. Some day you may 
have the opportunity 
to look at them under 
a powerful micro- 
scope, but our small 
glass will not help you 
very much, so I have 
brought these pictures 
to show you just how 
the pollen grains from 
some of our common 
flowers look;" and 
mother opened a big 
book by her side, and 
pointed to pictures of 
pollen grains greatly 
enlarged. 

"Oh," cried Hugh, 
"there is one just the 
shape of my foot 
ball!" 

"That one looks 
like the sea urchins we found on shore," said Don. 

"And that one might be a snail from its shape," 
said Ruth, pointing to a third. 

"Are they all marked like these?" asked Don. 

"Usually, though in many different patterns," 
replied mother. "Each flower has its own shape; 
each kind of pollen has its own marking. Tiny as 
they are, each is perfect, and very beautiful. But 




i -stigma 

(enlarged) 



pollen cjrain growing 
]( (enlarged) 



128 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

the most wonderful fact about them is that each 
has hidden away in it a tiny speck of living sub- 
stance. The wisest person that lives cannot tell 
you all about this substance, but we do know that 
it is a part of every living thing." 

While mother was speaking Hugh had been 
gazing intently at his cherry blossom, and now he 
said: 

"There is one stamen in the middle of my flower 
that has no pollen. Did it shake off, or didn't any 
ever grow on it?" 

"Good for you, Sharp Eyes!" cried mother. 
"No, that particular thread is not a stamen, and 
it never had any pollen. Look again and see if it 
is just the same shape as the stamens. Do you 
find one in your blossoms too, Don and Ruth?" 

"Yes," said Ruth, "and it is shaped like a little 
club. What is it, mother?" . 

"Its club shape makes people think of the pestle 
with which druggists make their powders, and so 
it was named the pistil" answered mother. 

"The end of it looks moist and sticky," said Don, 
who had been peering through the magnifying glass. 

"That is true in most cases," said mother, "and 
you will soon see why it needs to be so. Tell me 
how the bottom part of the pistil looks." 

"It is much thicker at the bottom," said Don. 

"I shall cut through this part," said mother, "so 
that you can see just what is on the inside," and 
with a small sharp knife she cut to the very bottom 
of the pistil. 

"It is full of little baby seeds," cried Ruth. 

"That is exactly what you see inside the pistil 
box," agreed mother. "Each little seed has its own 



A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 129 

speck of life substance, though it is not the same 
sort of substance as is found in the pollen grains. 
But no little seed will ever become a real seed, a 
seed from which a new plant can come, without some 
help from outside of itself. Where do you suppose 
this help may be found?" 

"Maybe the life substance of the pollen would 
help, but how could it ever get down into this firm 
little case?" asked Don, thoughtfully. 

"It is the life substance of the pollen that helps," 
agreed mother, "and I will tell you how it reaches 
the baby seeds. You remember the moist sticky 
top of the pistil? A pollen grain falls on this, and 
what do you suppose happens?" 

"It might swell and grow, just like a seed in the 
ground," said Don. 

"Something very like that does happen," an- 
swered mother. "When the inside has grown large, 
the outside case of the grain cracks open along one 
of the markings, and a tiny tube that makes you 
think of a rootlet begins to push its way down 
through the pistil. This wee tube carries its speck 
of life substance to mingle with the life substance 
of the baby seed. Then the seed begins to grow. 
The flower leaves will begin to fall off, and the 
stamens will lose all their yellow pollen. But the 
pistil will stay. Do you know what it becomes?" 

"You said it would grow into a seed," began 
Don, slowly, then, as he thought hard for a mo- 
ment, he suddenly added, "It must grow into the 
cherry pit, of course!" 

"Of course!" agreed mother. "From these 'pits,' 
or new cherry seeds, new trees may come. It was 
just to produce these seeds in order to have new 



130 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

plants, that the tree or plant sent its roots down 
into the soil to prepare and drink up the food. 
It was for this that all the green leaves spread 
themselves out in the sunshine and the rain, cook- 
ing the food, breathing for the tree, and helping it 
to grow. All of it was done for the sake of the 
'children' of the tree, its seeds." 

"I thought cherry trees were meant to give us 
cherries to eat," exclaimed Ruth. 

"I am sure God was thinking of his human chil- 
dren when he made plants and trees that produce 
food," answered mother, "just as I am sure that 
he likes to have us enjoy the beauty and brightness 
of the flowers. But both the color and perfume 
of flowers, and the rich pulp of the fruit have an- 
other part to play, in addition to their service to 
us, as we shall learn a little later." 

"Do all flowers have stamens and pistils, and 
make seeds in the same way?" asked Ruth. 

"In the same, general way, yes," replied mother, 
"though plants vary greatly as to number of sta- 
mens, the way the pollen boxes open to let the 
pollen out, the number and the partings or cuts 
of the pistils. Look at this buttercup, for example, 
and tell me how many pistils it has." 

The children bent to look at the buttercups, and 
D on exclaimed : 

"Where are the pistils? I can't find the sticky 
ends, but these little things in the very middle 
do not have pollen, so they must be pistils, and 
there are ever so many of them." 

"You are right," said mother. "The pistils are 
so small you cannot see the sticky end; and they 
are many in number, all fastened to the cone- 



A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 



shaped little object you see in the very center. 
Some flowers have a single pistil that will be quite 
likely to catch you napping, for you may say the 
flower has two or three or six pistils, when it really 
has only one, but cut into parts at the top. It will 
be interesting for you to look at all the flowers you 
find after this, and see how many things you can 
find out about their stamens and pistils, the number 
of each, and the ways in which the pollen boxes 
open. You will find 
some curious ways of 
arranging stamens 
too. The pea fam- 
ily, for example, al- 
ways hasten stamens, 
and nine of them grow 
quite close together, 



while the tenth al- 
ways stands at some 
distance from the 
others." 

"It is easy to tell 
the stamens and the 
pistils in flowers like 
our Easter lily or 
the tulips, because 
they are so big and 
not have any green 
said Ruth. 

"Be careful!" said mother. 




dusty, but these flowers do 
cup, any calyx, I mean," 



"It is not strange 



that you should think these flowers have no calyx, 
but the wise folks tell us that if one cup is missing 
it is not the calyx, even though the cup that we 
have is a brightly colored one. So we will gall 



132 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

these the flower leaves, and then we will be sure of 
making no mistake." 

"They are lovely, whatever name we give them," 
said Ruth, burying her nose in the white lily cup 
and lifting it well dusted with yellow pollen. 

"Indeed they are!" answered mother. "You 
remember what Jesus said of the beauty of the 
lilies, do you not?" 

" 'Consider the lilies,' " quoted Ruth, " 'how they 
grow. They toil not, neither do they spin; yet I 
say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was 
not arrayed like one of these.' " 

"I like to think Jesus loved the flowers too," 
she added. 

"He often spoke of flowers and of the beautiful 
things growing," said mother. "He used the 
flowers to teach us a lovely lesson of trust. Point- 
ing one day to the lilies and the fresh grass, he 
said, 'If God so clothe the grass in the field, . . . how 
much more shall he clothe you, O ye of little faith?' 
Think what a barren world it would be, how im- 
possible it would be to live, if God had never created 
'every plant of the field,' and 'every herb of the 
field' to clothe the earth, and to play their share 
in carrying out his great plans." 

"I thought flowers were made just to be pretty," 
said Don, "but they are more than that; they are 
a part of God's plan for seeds and new plants, 
aren't they, mother?" 

"Yes," agreed mother, "parts of a very wonder- 
ful plan. Even their beauty and perfume have a 
reason for being besides the pleasure that comes 
from them, and we will learn about this in a few 
days," 



A PLANT AND ITS FLOWER 133 

Something to do: 

1. Pick a common flower and learn to know its parts. 

2. Draw or trace the parts of a flower, and mark each 
with its name. 

3. Learn to know ten common flowers in your neigh- 
borhood. Make a list of the names, and opposite each 
name write the parts which that flower has. 

4. Make a "beauty spot" in some place where no 
flowers grow, by sowing flower seeds, weeding the ground, 
and tending the plants when they need your care. 

5. Select some flower, in your garden, in a window box, 
or in the woods, and mark it so that you can easily find 
it from time to time. One way is to tie a string to the 
flower. Watch the growth of the flower, from week to 
week. What happens when the petals fall off? What 
color was the flower? What insect visitors did it have? 
What is the seed? How many facts about it can you 
tell? 

?i 

To learn: Luke 12. 27. 

To read: "Discontent," a poem by Sarah Orne Jewett. 



LESSON XIII 
ROOTS OF MANY FORMS 

... If the root is holy, so are the branches. Romans 
ii. 16. 

" 'STOREHOUSE' roots for dinner!" cried Ruth 
one day, as Don set on the kitchen table a basket 
filled with young beets, crisp radishes and yellow 
carrots, from the .garden. "Aren't they pretty, 
mother? And the green leaves of the carrots look 
like feathers, though I think I like flowers better 
than leaves. Why don't carrots blossom too?" 

"They do, child," laughed mother, "though you 
probably have never 'seen a carrot in bloom. But 
you remember the tiny carrot seeds you sowed in 
the garden last spring. How did you think the 
plant produced seed if there were no blossoms?" 

"But why do we never see the blossoms, mother?" 
asked Don. 

"Beets, parsnips, radishes and other plants that 
have fleshy, or, as Ruth called them, 'storehouse,' 
roots we name biennials," answered mother. "That 
means that they require two seasons to produce 
their seed. In the first season, the plant is very 
busy indeed. What do you suppose it does?" 

Ruth shook her head in doubt, but Don cried, "I 
can guess! It makes a 'storehouse' root." 

"Exactly!" replied mother. "It does not try to 
blossom at all, but stores all the food and drink it 
can, in its fat root. When the next season comes, 

- / ----_,-.--- __-._,..--.._ . j 

J34 



ROOTS OF MANY FORMS 135 

it is not necessary for the plant to lay up a supply 
of food before beginning to bloom. It soon sends 
out its flowers, and it feeds these and the seeds 
that grow from them with the food it has already 
in waiting. If you were to let a radish grow the 
second season, till the seeds were ripe, you would 
find, if you dug up the root, that it was withered 
and flabby." 

"Then we use storehouse roots just because they 
are storehouses, and have food in them," said Don. 
"Imagine chewing on the thready roots of plants I 
Ugh! wouldn't they be tough?" 

Ruth laughed at the look of disgust on Don's 
face, then turned to mother to say: 

"All roots grow in the earth, don't they? That's 
one way you know they are roots." 

"You are mistaken," laughed mother. "Roots 
have many queer ways. Don, please bring me a 
spray of the English ivy that grows on the chim- 
ney." 

Don ran to the side of the house, and soon 
returned with a long branch of ivy. 

"My, but this vine held tight!" he said. "I 
had to pull ever so hard before it let go." 

"With what did it hold fast?" asked mother. 

"Oh, mother, you know," he responded; "all 
these queer little things that grow along the stem." 

" 'These queer little things,' " said mother, "are 
roots little air roots, that do not help the ivy 
to get its food at all, but they do help in another 
way, the way that you learned." 

"You mean holding the vine fast to the wall?" 
queried Don. "They are good at that, I can tell 
you!" 



136 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Indeed they are," agreed mother. "There is 
another sort of air root you will like to see and 
know about. We will stop at the florist's some day 
and ask him to show us his orchids. These are 
strange and lovely plants, many of which come from 
South America. They often grow on the branches 
of trees, where their seeds have found a lodging 
place. Here a few 'hold- tight' roots may keep the 
plant from falling. But these are not the feeding 
roots. The feeding roots hang loose in the air. 
The end of each one may be covered with a queer, 
spongy stuff, and it is this that sucks in for the 
use of the plant, the food on which it lives- air, 
water, or various gases. You see, one kind of orchid 
is a true air plant. Some orchids grow upon the 
ground, and some in wet marshy places." 

"Earth roots, air roots," repeated Ruth. "There 
ought to be water roots, to finish the list." 

"There are," smiled mother. "Some of them are 
more earth than water roots, but they are such 
thirsty roots that they often play much mischief 
with the drains in city streets. They find a tiny 
crack or crevice in a drain pipe, and first one wee 
root, then another, will force its way into the pipe. 
At length the pipe gets so full that the growing 
roots break it, and a leak comes. In some cities 
this has happened so many times that it has become 
necessary to forbid the planting of such trees in 
places where they may cause damage." 

"What about the roots of plants that grow in 
water?" asked Don. 

"Some of them are real feeding roots," answered 
mother, "and may take the food from the water. 
Others, belonging to plants that grow in shallow 



ROOTS OF MANY FORMS 137 

water, may have roots that are planted in the 
mud. Some are just 'hold-fast' roots. I have 
found them on the beach sometimes, washed up 
after a storm, and often they are fastened so 
securely to a stone or rock that they cannot be 
cut away." 

"Earth roots, air roots, water roots," said Ruth, 
counting them off on her fingers. "Was that all, 
mother?" 

"No," answered mother, "there are some roots 
that find still another place in which to grow. 
There is a queer, ghostlike little blossom that I 
used to find in the woods when I was a little girl. 
It is called Indian pipe, and is shaped very much 
like a pipe. It is a waxy white. If you were to 
find it, you might think at first that it grew out 
of the ground; but if you examined the spot care- 
fully, you would find that under the loose soil 
there is decaying vegetation of some sort, usually 
an old log, in which this odd little plant has its 
roots. Broom rape is less striking than the Indian 
pipe, being much smaller, and of a pale, dull color, 
but it grows in much the same sort of place. Then 
there are several well-known plants that live on 
other plants. Do you know the name of one?" 

"Oh, yes," cried Don. "I remember! Grand- 
father showed me some dodder last summer. It 
looks like a mass of yellow threads. It grows on 
the stems of other plants, and lives on the food 
they bring up, without doing anything itself." 

"That is quite true," said mother. "It starts 
out in life from the little seed, but never makes any 
effort to get its own food. Instead, it sends up a 
shoot that feels about for the right kind of a branch 



138 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

on which to fasten and then it sends its shoot down 
into this, and drinks up the food that the plant 
has prepared for its own use. Sometimes the 
dodder gets into flax fields, and chokes to death all 
the plants that a farmer has tried so hard to raise 
in order that we may have our linen' towels and 
handkerchiefs." 

"I don't like the dodder very much, mother," 
said Ruth. "I hope no other plants are like 
that." 

"The mistletoe," answered mother, "always feeds 
on other plants, very often choosing the oak. The 
seeds drop on the branches from other mistletoe 
plants, or they may be carried by birds. They send 
out little roots that find their way into the branches 
as the earth roots of other plants find their way 
into the ground, and presently you may see on 
some fine old oak a great mass of green, quite 
unlike the oak leaves. Then you know that the 
mistletoe has made itself at home, and is sucking 
the oak juices." 

"I won't be dodder or mistletoe," said Ruth, 
shaking her head decidedly. "I'll use my own roots 
and do my own work. I'd rather be a beet or a 
carrot than dodder." 

"Or a good honest oat plant," laughed Don. 
"I read last night of one oat plant that had a root 
one hundred and fifty feet long. Think of that 
some distance for a little oat plant to send out 
for food and water, wasn't it?" 

It was a well-rooted plant, indeed!" said mother. 
It is a splendid thing to be well-rooted, whether 
you are a boy or a girl or a growing plant. You 
remember the parable of the sower, and what Jesus 



u 
II 



ROOTS OF MANY FORMS 139 

said of the plants that withered quickly in the 
hot sun they had no root. If you depend too much 
on others for work or fun or thinking, you are not 
sending down good roots you are like the dodder 
or the mistletoe. The Bible speaks often of the 
importance of good roots. 'If the root is holy, so 
are the branches.' Paul prays that the Ephesians 
may be rooted and grounded in love. Let the roots 
teach you a lesson, and whether you are to be an 
oak or an oat, a man or a woman, make sure of 
good roots!" 

Something to do: 

1. Find a picture, or make your own drawing, of 
plants that have different kinds of roots. Name each 
root. 

2. Make a list of roots that give man food. 

3. Find a moist place and a dry place, in the lawn or 
in a lot, where weeds are growing. Carefully pull up 
two or three weeds from each place. Perhaps you can 
find the same kind of weed in both places. Compare 
the roots from the two places; how do they differ? What 
is the reason for this? 

4. Sow a few seeds as directed in Lesson XL Examine 
the roots under a magnifying glass and see if you can 
point out the tiny root hairs. What happens to these 
hairs when the water in the dish dries up? What happens 
to them when you touch them with a pencil? 

5. Place two wide-mouthed bottles side by side, and 
fill one about half full of water. Put a thick cord or a 
twist of rag into the bottle with the water, letting the 
end of the twist come down into the water, while the 
other end hangs over in the empty bottle. Leave the 
bottles for a day or more, and note what happens. Ask 
your teacher to help you find what capillarity means. 



140 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Does this experiment help you to understand how the 
water and the sap get from the roots of a plant to the 
leaves? 

6. Look at the stems of plants, and bring to the next 
session of the class as many different shapes and kinds 
of stems as you can find. 

To learn: Proverbs 12. i2b; or Ephesians 3. 17. 



LESSON XIV 
PLANTS AND THEIR STEMS 

WHAT is a stem? . What does it do? What 
shape is it? If you had been asked these ques- 
tions two or three days ago, would you have an- 
swered something like this? A stem is the part 
of the plant that holds up the leaves, and it is 
generally round. Perhaps you might have used 
those very words, but if you had been asked to 
bring in to this class as many different kinds of 
stems as you were able to find, I suspect that 
you would wish to change some parts of your 
answer, and before we finish this lesson you may 
wish to change it still more. 

You may think that the stem has no very great 
part to play in the life of the plant, other than to 
hold up leaves or flowers, and that there is little 
for us to learn about it. You remember one lesson 
we learned when we were studying the earthworm 
is that it is never wise to overlook small or simple 
or plain creatures or parts. Perhaps we shall find 
that stems have a fine lesson for us too. 

One of the first things we learn when we begin 
to study plants is that all of them are named from 
the kind of stem they have. One division is made 
according to the length of time a stem lives. All 
plants whose stems live one year, and then die 
down at least as far as the root are called annuals, 
from a word that means "yearly." Some plants, 
as you learned when we were talking of the carrot, 

141 



142 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



live through two years, and these are called bien- 
nials, for bi means "two." 

But other plants live much longer; their stems 
last from year to year, and such plants are called 
perennials. Per means "through," so you see the 
word means that these plants have stems that live 
through a period of years. 

But this is not the only way in which plants get 
their names from the kind of stem they may have. 
Did you ever think of the difference between a 
shrub and a tree? Both are perennials, both have 
woody stems. The tree is larger, that is, it has a 
larger stem, and this stem does not divide for some 
distance above the ground. The shrub not only 
is smaller than a tree, but it divides into branches 
either at the ground or at a very short distance 
above it. Herbs may have either annual or peren- 
nial roots, but they have annual stems, and these 
stems are not woody. You will enjoy making lists 
of trees, shrubs and herbs, of annuals, biennials 
and perennials, and you will remember when you 
do so that these names are given plants because 
of the kind of stem they have. 

In what direction does a stem grow? Up, do you 
say? That is very often true, but not always. 
If you plant a grain of corn in the ground, it will 
send up a stem that grows tall and straight, and 
that stands by itself almost as steadily as a soldier. 
Wheat and oats, while not as strong as corn, will 
stand straight and alone. So it is with many other 
plants that you can name. 

The pea vine is not like the corn. It cannot 
stand alone. It creeps along the ground until it 
comes to some other plant, a pole, a fence, or some- 



PLANTS AND THEIR STEMS 143 

thing which will hold it, and then it begins to 
climb, by throwing our a leafless threadlike branch, 
which we call a tendril. This is quite straight at 
first, and reaches out until it touches some object 
that will support it. Then it begins to coil around 
the support, taking the shape of a spring. You 
can see at once what a fine "hold fast" such a 
tendril makes, for the coils "give" and stretch and 
yet they keep a firm hold on the support. Grape 
vines send out tendrils much like those of the pea. 
Can you find other stems that help their mother 
plant in just the same way? 

Some stems, unable because of their great length 
to hold themselves erect, twine around the support, 
instead of making tendrils. The hop vine, so com- 
mon in some parts of the country, is one of these, 
and the queer thing about the hop is that it always 
twines in the direction of the sun, and no training 
will make it do otherwise. The bindweeds, or, as you 
may call them, the wild morning-glories, twine about 
the support, also, but they twist against the sun. 

Our woodbine grows tendrils, but these do not 
twine around wires or other supports. When they 
reach the wall on which the vine is growing, each 
little tendril end flattens out into a sort of suction 
cup, and this clings fast to the wall. 

Some plants, like the strawberry, have stems 
that run along the ground, and at a little distance 
from the mother plant send down roots, from which 
new plants come. There is another very common 
plant that we all love which has a stem like this. 
If you look for it, you will probably find it at home 
in your lawn, though you perhaps did not know 
before that white clover has a stem of this kind. 



144 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Certain plants with stems too weak to stand 
erect find yet another way of support. You find a 
good example of them in the water lily. You know 
how long the stems of these lilies are, and yet how 
weak they seem as soon as they are taken from 
the water. What kept them standing before they 
were gathered? Yes, it was the water; they floated 
on it like cups. 

But you will begin to think that the chief end 
of the stem is to hold the plant in place, and this 
is indeed a very great service. However, stems 
have not finished their work when it is done. Many 
of them wear armor to protect the plant from its 
enemies. These enemies may be insects, or they 
may be animals that like the fruit or the leaves of 
the plant. The size and the kind of armor depend 
on the enemy that must be kept away. 

Let us suppose that ants or other tiny insects 
are the enemy. Do you ask what harm these may 
do? You know that many blossoms secrete in their 
cups a sweet substance that you call nectar. Some 
insects like this as well as does the bee. The bee, 
however, is the only one that repays the flower 
for the nectar she carries away, by doing a service 
to the flower. What this service is we shall learn 
a little later. Suppose now that ants and other 
insects too small to be of benefit to the flower 
came and ate all the nectar? When the bee came 
for her share there might be none, and soon she 
would stop coming at all! Then the flower would 
indeed be quite helpless. To prevent this the 
stems act like guarding soldiers, and send out some 
barriers to the little would-be visitors, who would 
take all and make no return. 



PLANTS AND THEIR STEMS 145 

In some plants this barrier is often a great num- 
ber of stiff hairs. You will find many plants in 
which these hairs point downward. To the little 
insect that would crawl up the stem and suck the 
sweet juice, such a forest of hairs must seem like 
a vast and tangled wood. 

You have seen mother put out sticky fly paper 
to catch the dangerous housefly that would like 
to get into the clean kitchen and eat of your food. 
Probably you think sticky fly paper is the result 
of a bright thought of some clever man or woman. 
Long before man ever thought of such a thing 
the little wild pink that grows so commonly in 
dry and sandy soil throughout the Eastern States 
had protected itself in this way. Its pink cups are 
kept safely from robber insects by a sticky gummy 
substance around each stem. You can see some- 
thing of the same sort on the stems of mother's 
petunias, and I think you will agree that such 
stems play the part of plant protector very well 
indeed. 

Different plants use different ways of protection. 
Some of the stems grow prickles, like the rose or 
the raspberry bushes. You can imagine that no 
animal, even if very hungry, will try these plants 
for a meal. You may have walked in an old pas- 
ture some time, and seen how the cows and sheep 
nibble all around the brier bushes, but take pains 
to keep far enough away to avoid being scratched 
by the pricks. 

Some stems do not stop with mere prickles, but 
grow thorns, which are not just on the skin of 
the stem, but grow out of the stem itself. It has 
been found that such thorns often disappear when 



146 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

the plants are brought to our gardens and cul- 
tivated. The wild apple, or crab, as it is some- 
times called, is often thickly armed with very long 
spikes. I once found a cluster of old crab trees on 
the edge of a little forest. It was early in spring, 
and the trees were a mass of the loveliest pink 
bloom imaginable. But every branch of every tree, 
big or little, was armed with very sharp thorns, 
some of them two or three inches long. They 
stuck out in every possible direction, and made 
getting a few blossoms dangerous indeed. So you 
can see these stems guarded the mother plant's 
treasures well. 

You will be interested in making lists of stems 
that guard the plant, and of the ways in which 
each does this important part of its work. 

Stems have still another part to play in the life 
of the plant. You remember that you found out 
that the potato is really a stem, an underground 
stem. What does such a stem do? Yes, it acts 
like the storehouse roots and lays up in itself the 
food which the plant has taken from the ground. 
So much food does the potato store away that it 
is quite possible, as you 4 very well know, to cut a 
large potato into several parts, if you are careful 
to have an "eye" on each part, and get a new plant 
from each part. Such stems are called tubers. 

Other stems that are underground growers are 
often inclosed in layer after layer of scales or leaves. 
Such stems are called bulbs. Lilies, the crocus, the 
onion, the leek, are stems of this class. How many 
others can you find or name? 

So far we have been thinking about the uses of 
the stem to the plant, and this is quite the correct 



PLANTS AND THEIR STEMS 147 

way to think of it. But it will be an interesting 
study for you to try to discover in how many ways 
man uses the stems of plants for himself. You 
will find some are good for food. Out of others 
we make baskets, chairs, clothes, curtains, canes, 
fishing poles but I am not going to spoil your fun 
by making the list any longer. 

I am sure you will never again think that it is 
only the stem, for you know now that the stem 
is a very good helper in the plant life, even if it 
seems less beautiful than the flower. The stem 
ought to help us learn that every part, no matter 
what it may be, has its special place and its own 
work to do. This is the way God, in his wisdom, 
has planned it all, and what seems very plain or 
insignificant may be of greatest service, after all. 
You remember that Paul tried to explain this to 
the Corinthians. He used the body instead of the 
plant to teach this very lesson. He said: "The 
body is not one member, but many. . . . Those 
members of the body which seem to be more feeble 
are necessary. . . . The members should have the 
same care one for another." Do you not think 
the stems have had a fine story to tell and a fine 
lesson for us to learn? 

Something to do: 

1. Make a list of biennial stems; of perennial stems; 
of annual stems. 

2. Make a list of shrubs; of trees; of herbs. 

3. Find ten plants that guard their flowers or seeds 
by the help of the stem. How is this done? 

4. Write ten things you use every day that are made 
from stems. 



148 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

5. How long a list of stems used for food can you make? 

6. Write a guessing story about a stem, and read to 
your classmates. Here is a sample: "I am a green stem, 
and stand erect. The leaves grow from me, first, from 
one side, and then, a distance farther up, from the other 
side. Short, sharp spears grow all over me, with curved 
points, all bending downward." Answer: A rose stem. 

7. Think of the different stems of which you have 
studied. Write out a list of your very own strong 
stems, clinging stems, climbing stems, standing stems, 
weak stems, and others that you will think of. What 
is the best thing you can say of each kind of stem? As 
a boy or a girl, which stem do you choose to be like? 

To learn: i Thessalonians 5. 21; or i Corinthians 16. 13. 

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, 

And herb for the service of man; 

That he may bring forth food out of the earth. 

Psalm 104. 14. 



LESSON XV 
GREEN LEAF FACTORIES 

You have learned that all plants have roots, 
and you know what the roots do for the plant. 
You have discovered that many plants have stems 
to carry them up to the light, to support them, 
protect them, or to serve as storehouses for food. 
You know too that plants cannot live without 
leaves. If you suppose for a minute that the dodder 
is an exception to this rule, you recall that, though 
the dodder does not put out its own leaves, it 
uses the food prepared by the leaves of the plant 
to which it has fastened itself. 

You know that the watery food is carried up to 
the leaves to be cooked by the sun. Perhaps you 
have proved this by placing a white lily or a white 
carnation in a glass of water to which you have 
added red ink or green dye. You have proved by 
experiment, too, that leaves throw off the extra 
water by perspiring. 

But the plant depends on the leaves for a supply 
of food that is not brought up out of the ground, 
but must be taken from the air. This food is 
called carbon. Not all of the leaf is able to get this 
food from the air, but certain very special cells 
have this to do. In these cells there is a substance 
that the wise men call chlorophyll; it is this that 
gives the green color to leaves, and it is often spoken 
pf as leaf green. 

149 



i5o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

When you are a little older you will no doubt 
study chemistry, and then you will find out the 
most fascinating and wonderful things about the 
substances that make up the air we breathe in and 
out of our lungs. Each substance is called a gas. 
Two or more of these may join, and make a differ- 
ent kind of gas. You know mother may take a 
brown powder out of one of her tin cans, stir it in 
milk, add some water, perhaps, and put in sugar. 
You do not call the cooked mixture water or milk 
or sugar or powder; you say it is cocoa. So when 
the gases have joined, we do not call them by their 
individual names, but give a new name to the 
mixture. 

As I said, plants need carbon, and this is found 
in the air, but it is joined very closely with another 
gas called oxygen, and the two gases joined to- 
gether are known as carbonic-acid gas. You can 
guess how hard it would be to separate the sugar, 
the water, the milk and the powdered cocoa from 
the drink mother makes for you, and put them 
back into their first forms. It is something like 
that that must be done to the carbonic-acid gas if 
the plants are to have the carbon they need. 

But the chlorophyll, the leaf green, can do this 
hard thing if it can have the right help. This is 
not very hard to find, for the help is in the sun- 
shine. The sunshine and leaf green, working 
together, break up the carbonic-acid gas into carbon 
and oxygen. Then the plant takes the carbon to 
use, or to store away for food, and throws the 
oxygen back into the air. 

Now you can see why plants need sunshine for 
good growth. The leaf green cannot get the needed 



GREEN LEAF FACTORIES 151 

carbon at night, or on cloudy days; it must have 
the help of the sunshine. 

Perhaps you wonder how a plant uses carbon 
for food. It is very soon changed into starch, and 
this is stored in the leaf as long as the leaf can keep 
on making it. But when the sun sets, or goes 
under a cloud, the leaf begins to digest the starch 
and change it into sugar. Now you know starch 
will not dissolve in water, but sugar will. When 
the food has been changed to sugar, it is carried 
to other parts of the plant. Here this and other 
digested foods are combined with the living sub- 
stance of the cells, to make sap, new cells, tissues 
and substances like oil, resin, or wood, as the plant 
may need. 

You see, then, that all plant and animal life 
depends on the sun, for there is no animal life that 
does not depend, in the end, on plant life for its 
own life. Those animals that form the food of other 
animals are fed by plants. But plants cannot live 
without the carbon, and this they cannot get with- 
out the sunshine. It is like a long chain, is it not, 
that reaches back to the sun? When you eat a 
piece of bread or a fine red apple or a juicy lamb 
chop, you are eating food that leaf green and the 
sun made possible. But the sun does its work, 
gives its heat, and sends out its strong light in 
obedience to the laws of God, who placed it there 
in the sky, and set it on its ceaseless journey. It 
is God whom we thank for daily food and light and 
life. 

I am sure you marvel at this wondrous plan by 
which God has given all his creatures food and 
life. But it is not only in big things that God has 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



shown us his power and his infinite skill; we can 
read it in many ways that seem simpler, at least 
at first. 

Did you ever stop to think of the very great 
numbers of leaf -patterns? Or did you ever look at 
.a tree and think how well fitted to that tree its 
own leaves and branch arrangement are? Here is 
a good game to play with your imagination some 
day; it will help you to open your eyes, and make 
you see God's wisdom more clearly than ever 
before. Remember first what leaves are for their 
leaf green is to work with the sunshine in getting 
the much-needed carbon for the plant. This means, 



lobe 





Leaf 



Oak 



Elm 



then does it not? that the leaves must be spread 
out in the sunshine. Now, look at a pine tree and 
study the way its leaves are arranged. Then, in 
your mind, change the pine leaves to a maple tree, 
and the maple leaves to a pine tree. Or, in your 
imagination, put oak leaves on an elm tree, and 
beech leaves on a maple tree or chestnut leaves 
on an apple tree! 

You may laugh at the idea of changing the 
dresses on the trees, even in imagination, but to 




GREEN LEAF FACTORIES 153 

do so will help you to study the reason for the form 
of the leaves and their arrangement. Ask yourself 
a great many questions about the leaves. Why 
does the horse-chestnut leaf have such a long stem 
in some parts of the tree? Why do the young leaves 
of the sunflower turn to the sun all day? Why 
do so many trees have their leaves 
arranged spirally round the stems? 
Why does the thistle leaf grow such 
spiny points? Why do some grasses 
have such a sharp, cutting edge? 
Why? Why? Why? 

Of course you can answer the 
question about the thistle and the TT ,. 

- 1 , Horse Cnestnut 

grasses with the cutting edge at 
once, especially when you think about protecting 
stems. Then you will wish to find other ways that 
leaves have discovered for protecting their plant's 
life. For example, why do the cattle seldom eat 
the big green burdock leaves? Not altogether 
because they do not like to get the burs in their 
coats, I think! 

Still another way in which leaves help the plant 
is by acting as water distributors. If you never 
thought of this, go to the garden and study the 
way the plants carry their leaves, and you may 
often learn very much about the root arrangement. 
The canna, for one illustration, folds its leaves up 
to form a sort of funnel, down which the rain water 
runs. You will find the canna roots do not go far 
from the center of the stem, and so they get the 
water that the leaves shed. Another plant that 
you have heard called Elephant's Ear, from its big 
leaves, sends the water off in a great circle, and you 



154 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



would find, by digging down, that most of the 
roots reach out to this circle. How do the beet and 
the radish arrange their leaves? What is the shape 
of their roots? 

The leaves of plants will not only tell you about 
the roots that you cannot see, they will 
tell you what sort of a stem belongs to the 
plant. Some leaves, like corn and lilies, have 
little veins running in straight lines, side by 
side; they do not cross one another. Such 
plants have stems like the corn, or the palm. 
The woody fiber is in bundles all through 
the stem. 

Grass Other leaves have their veins arranged in 
a crisscross fashion; they seem to cross each other 
very many times. Such leaves belong to the maple, 
the oak, the geranium, and many others of our 





Sugar Maple 



Walnut 



Orange 



Rose 



common plants and trees. The stems of these 
plants have the woody fiber arranged in rings 
rather than in bundles. If you cut a round slice 
from a cornstalk and another from a rosebush or a 



GREEN LEAF FACTORIES 




Grape 



small branch of an elm, an oak or a maple, you can 
easily prove this for yourself. 

A fascinating part of leaf study has to do with 
their shapes. What a 
wonderful variety of 
forms you find! Some 
leaves are long and nar- 
row. Some are very 
deeply cut. Some are 
in three parts, like the 
clover. Others have 
many little leaflets along 
both sides of a stem. 
Some are pointed, while 
others are round. Some 
have the stem fastened at the end, and others, like 
the nasturtium, have the stem in the middle of the 
leaf. Some leaves have smooth edges, others are 
curved, or cut like saw teeth, or they may be just 
irregular, without following any set pattern. Look 
carefully at as many leaves as you can find and then 
see how correctly you can draw them from memory. 
Do this over and over, till you are able to reproduce 
the leaves, and to recognize the tree from which 
each comes, immediately. It will help you to see 
clearly what you look at. It will make you love 
leaves more than ever. Perhaps you will like to 
make blue prints of leaves for your schoolroom 
decorations when the real leaves have gone. This 
will help you to see God's plan of order and beauty 
for the world, for you will remember that nothing 
came just by chance in all God's wonder world, 
and nothing that he has made in the plant world 
is more worthy of our study than the green leaves. 



156 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

More than once the Bible compares the good man 
to a healthy tree "whose leaf shall be green," or 
"whose leaf doth not wither." Find these verses 
and learn them, to help you remember the leaf's 
lesson for you. 

Something to do: 

1. Secure some architect's or "blue-print" paper. 
Open it only in a darkened room, and cut it in pieces 
of any size you wish. Lay a piece on a board or slate 
with the sensitive or colored side up. Arrange on this 
one or more leaves in a pretty pattern. Cover this with 
a sheet of glass and carry it all where the sun will shine 
brightly on it. In a few minutes the paper that is not 
covered by the leaves will turn a dark blue. When this 
happens, remove the glass and leaves, and wash the 
paper in cold running water till all the color has stopped 
running from it. Dry on blotters or old paper. Arrange 
in a book, or as a border for your schoolroom. 

2. Make in your notebook a picture of a lily leaf, a 
grass blade, or a corn leaf. How many other parallel- 
veined leaves can you find? 

3. Make a picture of a maple leaf, a geranium leaf, 
or an apple leaf, showing the veining. Write five other 
leaves that have veining of the same type. 

4. Decorate a card with pressed leaves, a blue-print 
leaf, or a drawing of a leaf. Write below the decoration 
a verse from the Bible about leaves. You will find one 
in Psalm i. Use the finished card as a gift to someone 
whom you love. 

To learn: Jeremiah 17. 7, 8. 

And on this side of the river and on that was the tree 
of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit 
every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the 
healing of the nations. Revelation 22. 2. 



LESSON XVI 
A FIELD DAISY AND ITS FAMILY 

"JUST a common field daisy," do you say? You 
know all about it? Then you may tell its story. 
Yes, it is a common flower. It has a bright yellow 
center, with white leaves around this. It grows 
almost everywhere, and the farmer dislikes it grow- 
ing in his fields because it is difficult to root out, once 
it gets a good start, so careful farmers do not give it a 
chance. 

Now, let me ask you just one question about 
the daisy. How many flowers did you pick when 
you pulled a single daisy head from the green 
stem? One, you say. It is not strange that you 
think so, but you are quite wrong. I cannot tell 
you how many flowers you did pick, for I have 
no way of counting them accurately, but in that 
one daisy head you have a very great many; But 
do not feel ashamed that you did not know. Prob- 
ably half of the grown-ups whom you meet would 
say that you must be right. The little green cup 
on the under side looks much like the leaves you 
have been taught to call the sepals of the calyx, 
and the ^yellow center seems very like the stamens. 
But this cheery white and yellow head has deceived 
you, as you will soon find out. 

If you can get a magnifying glass, you can prove 
a good part of what I am going to tell you for 
yourself. If this is not possible, a book about 

157 



158 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

flowers may have some pictures of the daisy very 
much enlarged. An encyclopaedia may also help 
you. But without any of these, you can find out 
something about the daisy for yourself, and this 
is the best way to learn. What others tell you you 
may soon forget, but when you discover a new 
thing all by yourself, it is such fun that you will 
remember it without trouble. 

First, then, take one of the daisy heads, and 
pull it apart. Look at one of the tiny yellow flowers " 
that grow in the center. Yes, each tiny tube is 
a flower. It may not look much as we are accus- 
tomed to expect flowers to look, but it is a flower, 
and, small as it is, it is a perfect flower, with both 
stamens and pistil. 

The little yellow flowers that are crowded to- 
gether in the center of the daisy head are called 
the disk flowers, because they make up the disk, 
or wheel, in the center. 

If, now, you look at one of the white leaves, you 
will see a tiny tube at the base. This is the real 
flower. It has a pistil but no stamens. The pollen 
must be brought to it from the yellow disk flowers 
by flies or other insects, if it is to produce seed. 

The white leaves are called the ray flowers; you 
can remember this name because these flowers 
"ray" out from the center. 

I am quite sure that you never before guessed 
that the daisy had this interesting secret, and that 
you are surprised to know what a number of flowers 
are crowded together in this one head. It is rather 
important that you should know about the daisy 
and the family or order to which it belongs, for 
it is the largest flower family in the world. The 



A FIELD DAISY AND ITS FAMILY 159 

name of the order is Composite, or the Composites. 
You can see what a good name this is when you 
stop to think that the heads are composed of many 
little flowers growing together on a stem as if they 
made up one flower. ' 

It is thought that one ninth of all the flowering 
plants in the world belong to the Composites. 
Each kind differs from another, just as boy cousins 
or girl cousins may differ from one another. Just 
as boys and girls may belong to the same family, 
and yet one may have blue eyes and another brown, 
one may have straight hair and another curly hair, 
so the flower cousins may all be Composites, and 
yet be of many forms and colors. Wherever you 
go, you will find some of the Composites, so it is 
well for you to learn as much about them as you 
can. Look about you, and find a flower that you 
are almost sure is a Composite. 

Yes, you are quite right. The dandelion is a 
Composite, and one of the most common. Does 
it puzzle you that you can find no tube flowers? 
The dandelion has only the ray, or strap, flowers, 
as they are often called, since they look like tiny 
straps. But each is a perfect little flower, with 
stamen and pistil. 

You have such well-kept gardens and lawns that 
I am sure I cannot find in them another member 
of the Composites that will show a third arrange- 
ment of flowers. So I am going to ask you to 
walk with me in fancy through a pasture where 
the cows have been feeding every day for several 
weeks. You see they have eaten the grass till it 
is quite short. But here is something they seem 
to have kept well away from it is the thistle, 



160 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

* 

whose leaves are armed for the very purpose of 
keeping off anything that might make a meal of 
it! Only the big bumble bees can reach it without 
getting pricked. But as we wish very much to 
inspect one of its pinkish, purple blooms, we will 
risk a little scratching, and with a sharp knife we 
will cut off one of the heads. Be careful in handling 
this spiny bloom; and pull it apart. You will find, 
as you look at it through the glass, that all the 
flowers are tube flowers. 

You have now the three ways in which the Com- 
posites arrange their flowers in heads. There may 
be disk or tube flowers in the center, with ray or 
strap flowers arranged around them. Such a head 
is found in the daisy. There may be a head in which 
all the flowers are ray or strap flowers, like the 
dandelion. There may be Composites with all 
the flowers tube or disk flowers, like the thistle. 

One of the flowers that has the all-tube arrange- 
ment was very well known to our grandmothers. 
I wonder how many of you have ever heard of it? 
It is called thoroughwort. It grows in rather damp 
places, and has large clusters of dull, white heads. 
It was thought to be a most useful medicine, and 
our grandmothers who lived in the country used 
to gather great bunches of it in the summer and 
fall, and hang them away in the attic to dry. Then 
when people caught cold or grew feverish or seemed 
to need a tonic, a bitter tea was made of the thor- 
oughwort leaves, and the sick person drank it! 
Perhaps your father or mother will be able to tell 
of a time when they wished one Composite had not 
lived near them, if they can recall this bitter tea! 

One of the very common Composites that you 



A FIELD DAISY AND ITS FAMILY 161 

all know is the sunflower. It looks much like a 
huge black-eyed Susan. The big brown center is 
made up of tube flowers with stamens and pistil, 
like those in the white daisy's yellow center. The 
big yellow rays around the outside have neither 
stamen nor pistil, and of course can produce no seed. 
Yet they are the showiest part of the sunflower head, 
though they are the first parts to wither, curl up, 
and drop. Why is this, and of what use are these 
rays to the plant, if they make no seeds? It is 
just because they are showy that they are help- 
ful. They hang out their bright yellow leaves 
like so many waving flags to say to the bees and 
butterflies that the sunflower nectar is ready. 
Then the insects come to the feast, and play their 
part in helping the flowers to make seeds, as we 
shall learn soon. But after the seeds are formed, 
the plant needs all its strength to send to the seeds 
to make sure of strong and sturdy plants another 
season. The plant cannot afford to send good 
food to the yellow petals when they can no longer 
help, and so the petals curl up and drop off. 

Is not this a strange and wonderful plan for 
dividing the plant's work of making seeds between 
the ray and disk flowers? That's one reason why 
the study of any of God's wonder works is so 
interesting. You are always finding out new things 
that show his wisdom and skill in planning and 
caring for all things that he has made. 

You will find many of the Composites in gar- 
dens, on the hillsides and in the fields. Asters 
blue and purple, dahlias, chrysanthemums, zinnas 
and marigolds, tansy, artichokes, chickory, the 
goldenrods, the yellow and white everlasting, all 



162 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

belong to the Composites. Some of the heads are 
very small and the separate flowers are so tiny 
that you will need to take the greatest eare in 
studying them, or you will make many a mistake. 
But you have already found out enough about the 
"common daisy" to be sure that it and other mem- 
bers of its family have many interesting things to 
tell you. Study them with patience. Watch for 
the insect visitors that come to each of them, and 
make lists of them. Does the dandelion have the 
same visitors as the goldenrod? Do the insect 
visitors that come to the sunflower help or harm 
it? Do dahlias and chrysanthemums make seeds 
to insure new plants, or do they provide some 
other way for the plants of the next season? Try 
to find the answers to these questions by your- 
self, and ask a great many more. In this way you 
will get your eyes wide open to the beauty and the 
wonderful fitness of these many plants. You will 
be ready to say that God's world is indeed a won- 
der world, and you will thank him that he lets you 
"think his thoughts after him," for you will say: 
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." 

Something to do : 

1. Look up at the library the story of the Shasta Daisy 
and tell what Luther Burbank had to do with it. 

2. Tell the story of Luther Burbank, and write a 
short account of a useful thing he did. 

3. Look for members of the Composite family in your 
own yard, meadow, or park, and see how many you can 
find and name, of those that grow wild. 

4. How many Composites grow in your cultivated 
garden? 



A FIELD DAISY AND ITS FAMILY 163 

To learn: Psalm 65. 9. 

To read: "Daisies," a poem by Bliss Carmen. 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word 
of our God shall stand forever. Isaiah 40. 8. 



LESSON XVII 
BEES AND FLOWERS 

. . . Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, 
and to work with your hands. I Thessalonians 4. n. 

WE have spoken several times about the visits 
of bees and other insects to flowers for the sake 
of getting the nectar that is hidden in the flower 
cups. We have hinted that the insect performs 
a service for the flower in return for this sweet juice. 
It is time now to talk of this service, and to see 
just how the flower is helped by the visits of bees, 
moths, and other guests. 

We must first go back to our story, of the flower 
and its parts. What is the work of the stamens 
and the pistils? You remember when the pollen 
grains ripen in their little cases that these open, 
and then the pollen grains fall on the moist top of 
the pistil. They there begin to swell till the outer 
case cracks open, and a tiny rootlike tube begins 
to grow downward to the box in which the baby 
seeds are packed away. The tube carries a bit of 
life substance from the pollen to mingle with the 
life substance hidden in a wee seed-that-is-to-be. 
When this mingling has taken place the seed be- 
gins to grow. This whole process is called fertili- 
zation. 

It has been found that better and stronger seeds 
are produced when cross fertilization , takes place. 
Cross fertilization happens when the pollen from 
one flower falls on the pistil of another flower of 

164 



BEES AND FLOWERS 165 

the same sort. Since flowers by themselves cannot 
gain cross fertilization, some plan must be fol- 
lowed by which the pollen can be taken from one 
flower to another. 

Writers quite often speak of flowers learning to 
attract the bees and other insects, almost as if 
flowers had minds, could see what help the insects 
may be to them, and then went about getting this 
help. Do you not think it is much more reason- 
able to believe that God planned that the insects 
and the flowers should help each other and carry 
out together the work he has for them to do? 

How do insects help in the fertilization of flowers? 
I think you have already guessed the answer, in 
part at least. They come to the flower for nectar; 
they get their wings and feet dusted with the yellow 
pollen; they fly to another flower, and in alighting 
on that, they scatter grains of pollen on the moist 
pistil top, and cross fertilization has been accom- 
plished. This is the whole story in a word. 

But there are many points that have been left 
out. In the first place, how do bees and butter- 
flies and other helper insects know that the nectar 
feast is ready for them? If you were to pass along 
a road near an apple orchard in full bloom, how 
would you know that the trees were blossoming? 
Yes, both your nose and your eyes would tell you! 
Some people think ' most ' insects' do not see very 
far, and are chiefly attracted to flowers because of 
their fragrance. Others believe that the gay petals 
of apple and cherry and peach blooms and of scores 
of other flowers are like banners hung out to tell 
the insects that flower-land goodies are waiting 
for them. At any rate, the insects seem never to 



i66 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

make a mistake in the time. They accept the 
invitation of the flowers; they come and sip the 
nectar; they carry away some of the pollen, and 
scatter at least a part of it on the next flower they 
visit. 

It is quite necessary that the pollen of any flower 
should be carried to the pistil of a flower of the 
same kind. If the pollen of a pear bloom should 
be carried to the pistil of an elm or a maple tree 
bloom, neither pear, nor maple, nor elm seeds would 
result. The pollen must be carried to another 
pear bloom. 

You will remember that we found the bee goes 
always to only one kind of flower as long as she can 
find that flower. You see at once how much this 
helps in the matter of fertilization. The bee is 
not a wanderer from one kind of flower to another. 
If she starts to gather nectar from apple blossoms, 
she visits apple blossoms one after the other. If 
she is making honey from white clover, white 
clover is her choice as long as the clover lasts. 

I am very sure this does not happen by mere 
chance. Nor is it just a queer habit of the bee. 
It is a part of God's plan for both bee and flower. 
As we study this interesting story of cross ferti- 
lization, and as we find new ways in which the 
flower attracts the insects, as we say, tell yourself 
over and over again that it all belongs to the wise 
and careful provision of our heavenly Father for 
his creation; he cares for bee and flower, for bird 
and worm, for all things that he has made, and in 
his loving eye there is no great and no small. 

In all God's great wonder world you will find 
no more interesting story than those that are 



BEES AND FLOWERS 167 

written on many of our flowers for wide-awake 
persons to read. Some of them are very simple 
and easy; others are very hard indeed to make 
out. Some flowers have hidden their secret so well 
that the wisest students have to think long and 
observe well before they can find them out. 

If you would like to read one of the most inter- 
esting stories, pluck an iris, or, as you may prefer 
to call it, a blue flag, from your garden bed. 

You will note that each flower has nine parts. 
The three large lower parts blue, violet, or purple 
are marked with white and yellow, and with 
lines of darker purple. These lines are sometimes 
called the "honey guide lines." Bees seem to 
especially love blue and purple, and if you watch 
your iris bed on a sunny day, you may be lucky 
enough to see Madam Bee arrive at the door of 
the blue flag in search of honey. Almost surely 
you will see her alight on the top of the flower, 
where three other petal-like parts curve out over 
the first three. You might never guess it all by 
yourself, but these three parts make up the pistil 
of the flower. If your eyes are very sharp, you may 
see that Madam Bee is well dusted with pollen. 
Of course she cannot help scattering some of this 
on the pistil. You will remember that she has 
come to this iris from another iris. But where 
did she find the pollen? You have seen none on 
this flower. Watch the bee, and you see her follow 
the honey guide lines and disappear into a curious 
pocket. Lift the top of a pocket, where it curves 
over, just below the third set of erect little parts. 
You will find, cunningly tucked away, a slender 
yellowish stamen, well supplied with golden pollen. 



i68 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

It is so placed that the bee cannot possibly get 
away without brushing off a part of it and carry- 
ing it with her on back and legs. She flies off to 
the next waiting pistil, and the cross fertilization 
has been made! Is it not a clever plan? 

The mountain laurel has a wonderful fertilization 
plan. If you ever get a handful of the lovely pink- 
and-white blossoms, make a careful study of the 
way fertilization happens in this plant. Each 
single flower cup of the large cluster in its pretty 
circle of bright green leaves has a row of fairy 
pockets, arranged like a belt around the cup. There 
are always just ten pockets, one for each silvery 
stamen. Of course you do not need to be told that 
the treasure the stamens hide in their pockets is 
the yellow gold of the pollen. Each stamen tip, 
with its box of pollen, is snugly tucked into a pocket, 
and there it stays till the pollen is ripe. Then the 
pockets grow a little loose, and the stamens wait 
for their helpful visitors to answer the gay invita- 
tion of the blossoms. Soon they come, bee or moth 
or butterfly. Of course they alight on the cup; 
that is, in the very center of the stamens, whose 
tips are still tucked in the pockets. But the instant 
the stamens are touched, the most astonishing 
thing happens, for S-N-A-P ! All the heads pop 
out of the pockets, and a shower of yellow pollen 
is sent flying in every direction. Some of it is lost, 
but much of it falls on pistils outside of the cup 
in which the pollen grew, and so once more cross 
fertilization has been secured. If you are not 
fortunate enough to see a bee or a butterfly in the 
very act of helping the flower, you can see how 
the plan works* by touching the stamens with a 



BEES AND FLOWERS 169 

straw or a pin, when they will snap as if a bee 
had alighted on them. 

Have you ever driven along , a country road in 
the early evening, and seen the primrose getting 
ready for her visitors? She wakes up when the 
sun is low in the west. She decks herself in a bright 
yellow gown, and sends out the sweetest perfume 
to call the moths to her. But she hides her nectar 
so far down in her cup that only the long-tongued 
moths can reach it. If none of these happen to 
come to her feast during the night, the primrose 
will stay awake after the sun comes up, waiting 
for a hungry humming-bird to come along for 
breakfast and to carry off the pollen. The prim- 
rose has another clever part to her plan. She has 
many buds on her stalk, but she opens only one 
at a time, so the moth or bird visitors are obliged 
to carry the pollen to a flower on another stalk. 

The columbine follows an interesting plan. You 
know its odd shape, with the five little horns hang- 
ing upside down on the stem. In the very tip of 
each horn is stowed the sweet nectar. Can you 
imagine a bee or a butterfly hanging head down 
to get the sweets of the columbine? But there are 
two helpers that find no trouble in doing so. Watch 
and you will some day see that funny little acrobat, 
the bumblebee, clinging with his strong legs to the 
blossom, and drinking the nectar at his ease. He 
seems to enjoy it very much. The humming bird 
gets heir share almost as easily. But the strangest 
part of the story is yet to come. 

An Englishman proved by some well-planned 
experiments that bees love blue. In Europe, where 
the ruby- throat humming bird does not live, the 



i7o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

columbine is more likely to be blue than red. In 
America, many of the columbines are a bright 
and dainty red. In this country ruby-throats are 
common, and it has been shown that they love 
red, and are almost sure to seek flowers of that 
color rather than those of any other hue. 

You will find other fertilization plans in the 
wild flowers of wood and hill and field. The yucca, 
or Spanish bayonet, that grows on the dry hillsides 
of southwestern United States, has a story that 
you will enjoy. It can be fertilized only by a little 
night moth which enters the flower, not for the 
sake of nectar, but to find a safe place in which 
to lay its eggs. It stings one of the seed boxes, 
and puts an egg in it. As it climbs out of the blos- 
som, it brushes off pollen and carries it to a stigma. 
The tiny grub, on hatching, eats a few seeds, but 
so many have been fertilized that the plant can 
well afford to spare some to feed the little worm. 

Make lists of flowers and of the insects that come 
to visit them. Perhaps you will find out a secret 
Mother Nature has told no one else, and you may 
help the whole world by doing so. There are many 
things yet to learn, and it is only by watching and 
experimenting that we may discover them. For 
example, men tried for many years to grow Smyrna 
figs in California, but the figs would not mature. 
Finally it was found out that wild figs always grow 
near Smyrna figs that have fruit. So wild fig trees 
were at once planted in California with no better 
results! Then it was discovered that a tiny insect 
carries the pollen from the wild trees to the Smyrna 
trees. So a quantity of these insects were brought 
to California, and now there is no trouble in getting 



BEES AND FLOWERS 171 

a good crop of figs. Which of you will be the first 
to discover such a useful secret as this? 

You have learned enough of fertilization plans 
to be sure that shape and color and fragrance of 
flowers all have a meaning. Not one of them just 
happened by a mere blind chance. Each little 
petal, each tiny part of the plant, has something 
important to do with God's work of clothing the 
fields. How many times have you read in the 
Bible that God clothes the grass of the field? Did 
you know how minute and careful was his planning 
for this? Did you know how wonderfully each 
plan for one flower, one creature, fits into his plans 
for all the others? If you should ever feel dis- 
couraged about your own way or your own work, 
or what you fear may be going to happen to you, 
you need only say: "If God so clothe the grass 
of the field, will he not much more clothe me?" 
It was of this that Jesus was thinking when he said, 
"Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, 
neither do they spin, yet . . . Solomon in all his 
glory was not arrayed like one of these." Is it 
not a lovely and delightful lesson of faith and 
trust in our Father that the flowers have for us? 

Something to do: 

1. Observe growing corn, and learn its fertilization plan. 

2. On what helper do maples depend for fertilization? 

3. How does the wild honeysuckle secure fertilization? 

4. Find out the fertilization plan of the red clover. 

5. Read i Peter i. 22b and Romans 12. IP. Do these 
verses help you to remember how the flowers and the 
insects work together to help each other? Would one 
of the verses make a good motto for your class? Talk 



172 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

it over with your mates and your teacher. Perhaps you 
will like to print it in large letters, color it nicely with 
water color or crayola, and hang it where all may see it. 

To learn: i Thessalonians 4. n; or i Corinthians 10. 24- 

To read: "Pedigree," a poem by Emily Dickinson; or 
"Two Taverns," by Edward Mafkham. 



LESSON XVIII 
FRIENDLY TREES 

DID you ever go to a flower show, and see the 
great vases and baskets of roses or dahlias or 
chrysanthemums? Perhaps you saw judges walk- 
ing up and down, talking about the size, color, and 
shape of the flowers, and finally tying to certain 
flowers, with red or blue or gold ribbons, cards 
that held the words, "First Award," "Second 
Award." 

This morning we are going to a great exhibit, 
and we ourselves are to be the judges. Our spec- 
imens will not be brought into a room for us to 
look at, but each will be left in its own natural 
place. Nor can we see all of them with our physical 
eyes; we must sometimes use memory's eye, or 
the mind's eye, and imagine the specimen to be 
before us. Perhaps we shall use drawings or pic- 
tures to help us a little. 

Our exhibit will differ from an ordinary flower 
show in one other way. Most judges can give 
the first prize to but one specimen, and there is 
often disappointment and perhaps hard feelings. 
In our exhibit we may not all agree, but each of 
us may make "First Award" exactly as we please, 
and no one will be treated unfairly, and no one 
will be hurt. Are you all ready to start? You 
wish first to know what is to make up the exhibit? 
What could possibly make a finer one than trees? 
Get out all the pictures, the drawings, the photo- 

173 



174 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

graphs, and the descriptions of trees that you can 
find, and we will begin. 

Now, just as the judges in most flower shows 
look at the flowers in different ways, we will think 
of our trees in different ways. For instance, a 
flower may get first prize because it is the largest 
or the smallest; it may be of any size, but of very 
perfect form; its color may be unusually fine. For 
any one of these reasons the coveted first prize 
may be given. 

In the same way, we will think of trees and vote 
first prize to certain ones as our favorites for dif- 
ferent reasons. In the first place, what tree do you 
like the best of all? How fast the answers come, 
and how different they are! 

Our little Japanese friends vote first for the 
cherry tree, with its lovely bloom. Our Indian 
boys and girls think of the birch tree that gives 
them the graceful and dainty canoe, and, of course, 
they vote for that. Some of them and some of 
us too think of the sugar maple, and of its gift 
of sugar, syrup, and candy, and we vote for that 
lovely tree. 

New England boys and girls think of their shady 
streets and name the graceful elm the queen of 
all trees, while California boys and girls at once 
exclaim that the pepper tree, with its fern-like 
leaves, its drooping branches, and its bright ber- 
ries, is quite as lovely. 

Southerners will vote for the magnolia, or the 
cypress, or the palm. Boys who depend on the 
willow for their annual supply of whistles will not 
forget that tree! Many a farm lad will think first 
of the white birch that gives him such a splendid 



FRIENDLY TREES 175 

swing, and will quote Robert Frost's lovely poem 
to show that others agree with him. And what 
boy will omit the fruit trees apple, pear, plum, 
peach, cherry, and a dozen others? Or the nut 
trees walnut, beech, butternut, hickory? 

Still other children remind us of the evergreen 
trees pine, larch, tamarack, fir and ask what 
we should ever do without them for Christmas 
trees. It really is very hard to decide which of 
all the lovely and useful trees we like the best, 
when there are so many favorites; and you are 
very glad that each of you may give as many first 
prizes as you wish! 

Let me ask you to answer another award ques- 
tion. At what season of the year are trees most 
beautiful? "In the summertime, of course," I hear 
some of you say. "Trees in summer make big 
tents of shade. The birds build their nests in 
them; the breezes play through them all day, and 
the lovely green of their leaves is so restful and 
pretty." 

"No, no," say other children. "Trees are pret- 
tiest in the spring, when the young leaves are just 
coming out; all the colors are so bright and pretty, 
and it is then, too, that trees bloom, in pink and 
white and purple. Spring is the prettiest time for 
trees." 

But the children from New England and Canada 
protest at once: "No one who ever saw our forests in 
the autumn will vote for any other season. Our trees 
flame in yellow and red and browns, in every possi- 
ble shade. People come for miles to see them then, 
and talk about the wonder of the sight all their 
lives." 



176 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

You are all right, and yet I am going to vote 
for the prettiest season as winter, when all the 
leaves have gone, and the delicate tracery of the 
branches shows up clearly, especially against a 
sunset sky! 

You see, it is just as hard to decide when we 
love trees best, as it is to decide which one is our 
favorite. 

If we were to attempt to make our awards to 
the tree that is most useful, we would find this 
even more difficult, for each is used for many 
different things and in many ways, according to 
its character. We have spoken of the fruit and 
nut trees, that help man by supplying him with 
food. How long a list of food trees can you make? 
Where does each grow? See if you can find a pic- 
ture or make a drawing of each, and tell a little 
of its help to man. If you can get a leaf and a 
blossom, and mount them, with the picture, in a 
book of the stories you write about the trees, you 
will have a very interesting and worth-while col- 
lection in a short time. 

But even more important than the food obtained 
from trees is the wood which they give, of which 
we make many of the articles necessary to our 
daily comfort and pleasure. You could fill a book 
with the list of things made of wood! You might 
begin with the house in which you live, the school 
which you attend, the floors on which you walk, 
the autos in which you ride, the street cars, the 
poles that hold the wires over which you talk, 
the table from which you eat, some of the dishes 
used in preparing your food. Even if your house 
or your auto is not made entirely of wood, .wood 



FRIENDLY TREES 177 

is used in them. And when you begin to count 
up the small things made of wood boxes, brush 
backs, spools for thread, spoons, musical instru- 
ments, furniture to name only the first ones that 
come to mind you can see how much we depend 
on wood for things of everyday use. Suppose that 
you try not merely to make the list of wooden 
articles longer but to discover what kind of wood 
is used to make each article, and why. You will 
learn a great many interesting stories in this. way, 
and find many facts that will surprise and de- 
light you. 

But we have not begun to learn the uses of trees 
when we have thought of them only as the source 
of the wood supply. Perhaps the best way for us 
to discover just what purposes trees do serve is 
to visit a land where there are no trees; where, 
through ignorance or accident or greed, the trees 
have all been cut off, and the land is left quite bare. 

We may find a treeless country in many parts 
of China. Have you not often read or heard of 
the destructive floods in that country, and won- 
dered why such happenings are so common? It 
is largely because there are no trees to retain the 
moisture and let it creep slowly down the slopes; 
instead it runs off quickly, and floods the valleys, 
washes away the growing crops and often sweeps 
away whole villages. Another harm also results, 
since streams that vary so much as to the amount 
of water they carry at different seasons are less 
useful for manufacturing and commerce, as well 
as for water supply. 

You may find in books at the library descrip- 
tions of a flood that did much damage when, in 



178 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

May, 1889, the dam across Conemaugh Lake broke, and 
a great volume of water swept down through the valley 
and destroyed the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 
The flood of waters that caused the dam to give way 
was partly the result of cutting off the trees on the 
mountain slopes above the town. When the hot spring 
suns came, the snows on the slopes were not pro- 
tected by the trees, and so they melted very fast. 
The water thus filled the river which ran down with 
force enough to break the dam, and carry off most of 
the town. 

Trees also serve a great purpose by holding soil 
on the slopes. As the roots grow and entangle 
themselves in the soil they bind it and prevent its 
being washed away. Where forests have been 
carelessly stripped from the hills, it has sometimes 
happened that the rich soil deposited in part by 
the trees themselves, through their falling leaves, 
soil that it has taken many, many years to make, 
has been washed away in a few seasons. The result 
has been that the land has been turned into what 
is little better than a desert. 

On the other hand, where binding grasses have 
been planted along the seashore or along lake 
shores where shifting sand dunes are the rule, land 
has been made through the deposit of still more 
sand. Then trees have been planted, and they 
have helped the grasses in their work of holding 
the soil, till in the course of a few years land that 
is not only usable, but valuable, has been formed 
largely through the help of the grasses and the 
trees. 

Have you ever gone into a forest or a small grove 
and dug up a little of the soil under the trees? 



FRIENDLY TREES 179 

What was it like? Black and fine and rich! Per- 
haps you carried home a bucket or a basket filled 
with this rich soil to feed your favorite potted 
plant. Did you stop to think why the soil was so 
rich? Yes, it was just because for many years 
the trees had been casting their leaves on the ground, 
and these had turned into soil. If you thought to 
look when you were digging up the fine, black 
earth, you probably noticed that on the top were 
the loose, dry leaves; under these were leaves that 
were partly decayed. Next you found a dark soil, 
the leaf mold, and I am sure that you found in the 
layer just below this a soil not quite so dark, but 
showing plainly that some of the leaf mold had 
trickled down into it. You were reading a page 
from the story of the tree's work for the world, 
and you thought it a very interesting story, as 
indeed it is! 

Of course you have thought of the importance 
of trees as homes for our other friends and neigh- 
bors, birds and beasts of the forest. You know too 
that trees help, just as plants help, to keep the 
air pure by taking out of it that gas carbonic acid 
gas that is so harmful to us, and I am sure you 
will think that all together the trees play such an 
important part in the general plan of God's won- 
der world that nothing more is necessary. There 
is one other work that trees carry so quietly that 
you may overlook or forget it altogether, and yet 
it is so useful that you will be glad to know of it. 

You remember your experiment to show that 
leaves take up water, and the other experiment 
to show that leaves perspire, or throw water out 
of their pores, You found this true in the case of 



i8o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

all the plants you tried, and so you think it quite 
safe to say it is true concerning all plants. But 
compare the amount of such work that all of the 
plants in a region could do with what might be 
done by the trees. Remember, too, that the trees 
send their great roots down below the surface to 
the waters that lie far beyond the reach of plants, 
and you can quickly guess that the work of the 
trees in bringing the water from the earth to the 
air is very great. 

Experiment with a few cuttings in a glass of 
water. Place beside this glass another in which 
there are no cuttings, and see how much more 
rapidly the water disappears from the glass with 
the cuttings. If a few green sprays can do this, 
do you not see that land covered with trees will 
give far more moisture than land covered by water? 
It has been said that a large elm tree will give off 
more water vapor in a given time than the largest 
steam boiler in use, kept constantly boiling for the 
same length of time. 

By this time you are ready to say that trees are 
among the most beautiful things God ever created. 
More than that, you think them to be numbered 
among his most useful gifts. You are not surprised 
that when the psalmist wished to tell what a good 
man was like, he compared him to a splendid tree 
growing by a river, with fruitful boughs and fresh, 
green leaves, for you can think of no finer thing 
in the plant world than a great tree. From trees 
you get many a worth-while lesson. If you are 
likely to be boastful, you go to Jotham's clever 
fable of the trees, and decide that you will not be 
v a silly bramble. Or if you are discontented and 



FRIENDLY TREES 181 

think you would rather fill some other place than 
the one that has been given you, you will remember 
what the vine and the olive and the fig replied, 
in the same fable, when the kingship was offered 
them. 

Most of all, you will remember what Jesus said 
about trees "each tree is known by its own fruit." 
A tree in this respect is just like a child "Even a 
child maketh himself known by his doings." Since, 
then, a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit, is 
it not very important that we not only plant good 
trees, but good lives? that we make sure that we 
are "trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah," 
so that pur Father may "be glorified"? 

Something to do: 

1. Plant a seed of a tree maple, elm, walnut, or 
peach. Watch the growth of the plant for a season, 
and write about it in your book. 

2. Plan for an Arbor Day with your group, and plant 
some trees in a place that needs shade. 

3. Read the story of a Chinese boy who tried to keep 
an Arbor Day; it is called "The Honorable Crimson Tree." 

4. Draw a picture or take a photograph of the five 
most beautiful trees in your community. Arrange these 
pictures as nicely as you can, together with those that 
your classmates make. Have an exhibition on Tree Day, 
and ask all your friends to come and see them. Votes 
may be cast for the best pictures, and these may be 
marked with gold stars. 

5. Learn to identify all the trees in your neighborhood, 

To read: "Trees," a poem by Joyce Kilmer. 
To learn: Psalm i. 3; or Jeremiah 17. 7, 8, 



i8 2 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree: 
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They are planted in the house of Jehovah; 
They shall flourish in the courts of our God. 
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; 
They shall be full of sap and green. 

Psalm 92. 12-14. 



LESSON XIX 
FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 

IN our last lesson we talked of the. many uses 
of trees, and came to the conclusion that it would 
be a sad and dreary world without their shade, 
their beauty, and their service. But just because 
trees are so useful, and often because trees have 
been so plentiful that it has seemed we had many 
more than we could ever use, man has been care- 
less and wasteful with them. In addition to this, 
all trees have many enemies that are always ready 
to harm and destroy them. If we are to keep our 
beautiful trees, we must learn how to protect them, 
how to help them fight their enemies, how to use 
them without needless waste, and how to make 
certain that other trees shall take the place of 
those that we cut down. 

Inez McFee, in her delightful Tree Book, which 
I hope every one of you will read some day, says, 
"A tree never dies of old age." She shows why 
this is true, and then tells of some of the enemies 
that trees have to fight, and of ways in which boys 
and girls may help. How many tree enemies have 
you seen? 

Orchard growers in States where snow falls are 
often much concerned about their young fruit trees, 
and take care that they shall not be "girdled" 
when the blanket of snow cuts off the food supply 
from the field mice. When the mice find their 
stores running low, or when they wish a change 

183 



184 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

in diet, they "girdle" the young trees having tender 
bark; that is, they eat the bark off all around the 
tree. This generally kills the tree, as the growing 
layer is either exposed or entirely destroyed. Por- 
cupines may harm forest trees in the same fashion. 
How may the trees, particularly the orchard trees, 
be protected? One way is to tie a collar of tar 
paper closely around each trunk, in the fall. The 
mice do not like the taste of the tar, and will not 
eat through it. If it is placed so close to the ground 
that the little rodents cannot crawl under it, it 
does the work well. A small orchard may be pro- 
tected by tramping the snow close down to the 
tree trunk, but where many trees are to be cared 
for, this would mean far too much labor. 

Far more harmful to trees than rodent enemies 
are insect enemies. Some eat the leaves of the 
trees; some bore into its growing tissue and destroy 
this; others suck the juices that feed the tree. 
Insect enemies are of many sorts. Each tree is 
likely to have its own special enemy, an enemy that 
prefers the juice, the leaves, or the bark of this 
tree to those of any other in the forest. 

You have noticed, perhaps, on the side of a plum 
or a peach, a little moon-shaped mark, and have 
wondered what made it. Was it caused, perhaps, 
by the rubbing of the fruit against some rough 
bough? No, it was made by an insect that punc- 
tured the fruit to lay its egg in a tiny hole, and 
the slit was made so that the growing fruit should 
not close up the hole and break the egg. What 
do you think of that for cleverness and foresight 
on the part of the insect? Some fruits, when so 
stung, will fall to the ground in a few days, and in 



FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 185 

a short time a whole army of insects will hatch 
out and be ready shortly to attack the tree. 

How often you have noticed, in the trees of the 
forest, or in the shade trees along the road, a mass 
of silvery-gray caught in the boughs. Sometimes 
you have noted many black spots in the mass; 
at other stages, you have seen that the whole mass 
was full of wriggling worms, and you knew that 
something must be done very quickly or the poor 
tree would soon have no leaves left on its branches 
at all. Perhaps you called the attention of some 
grown-up to the matter, and you helped them soak 
old rags in oil, and then watched while they burned 
the nest out before the insects could spoil your tree. 
This might be possible where you had but a few 
trees to treat, but could not be carried on to any 
great extent; and, besides, it is likely to injure 
the tree almost as much as the worms themselves. 

One enemy much dreaded by orchard owners is 
called the San Jose scale. It is a very tiny creature 
that you might think too small to be of any account 
at all, but; like most insects, it multiplies with 
remarkable rapidity, and does a vast amount of 
damage. Once let a single family get started, and 
it will not take long to destroy a whole orchard. 

Frequently you may find on oaks and willows 
little red-cheeked apples. At least you think at the 
first they are apples, and perhaps at the second 
look. Then you ask if old Mother Nature is play- 
ing a trick on you, and you examine one^of these 
"apples." If you cut it open, you will find a tiny 
grub on the inside. An insect has laid its egg 
months before on a leaf, which formed presently 
into the "apple," or gall, as it is called. At the 



i86 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

right season, the egg hatched into the larva, which 
in due time would have eaten its way out had you 
not cut open the gall. Galls of different sorts, 
and made by different insects, are found on differ- 
ent trees; and, of course, all are more or less harm- 
ful to the tree. 

There is still another kind of enemy that attacks 
trees, that is known as fungus. Fungi are low 
forms of vegetable life; they never make their own 
leaf green, or chlorophyll, but must steal it. So 
they fasten themselves to trees in many different 
ways. Sometimes they attack the roots; other 
times they enter through breaks in the bark, or 
through wounds that have been caused by wind 
or fire or animal. Fungi are of many sorts and 
show themselves in many ways. 

Have you ever found an apple that was marred 
by rusty spots? These were made by a fungus that 
attacks apples and spreads with great rapidity. 
Another fungus sometimes attacks the leaves of 
apple trees. Still another lives on pine trees, and 
makes them quite useless for lumber, and soon 
kills the tree. One such fungus needs the wild 
currant or wild gooseberry bush to complete its 
life circle, and the only way to save the pine trees 
is to pull up these bushes. This would not be a 
great; task in a small wood lot, but what can the 
owner of a lot containing many acres do? 

Here is one place where the government steps 
in to help owners fight tree enemies. From State 
or national headquarters, experts are sent out, 
with a crew of helpers, perhaps five or six in num- 
ber,- and these men proceed to search every foot 
of the lot and to make absolutely certain that all 



FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 187 

bushes that will help the fungus to live are pulled 
up and destroyed. 

It is an interesting sight to see the men at such 
work. Beginning at one corner, they walk along 
a side of the lot to the opposite edge, each man 
at arm's length from the next man, and a young 
boy on the very outside. As a man finds a bush, 
he pulls it up. The boy carries, slung over his 
shoulder you never would guess what he carries! - 
a bag full of scraps of torn paper! Every few feet, 
as they advance he sticks a bit of paper on the 
end of bush or twig. Then when the row of workers 
reaches the side of the lot, and are ready to turn 
back, they follow the little scraps, as a guide to 
make sure they are not skipping any part of the 
lot in their search for bushes that may serve as 
the host for the destructive fungus. 

This is only one way in which the government 
helps to save the trees by fighting their enemies. 
Some States, have spent millions of dollars in fight- 
ing a single pest. The national government keeps 
up four well-equipped stations through which all 
new plants that are being brought into this country 
must pass, in order to make sure that they will 
become good plant citizens. Watch is constantly 
being kept on fruits and other vegetable products 
of foreign countries to make sure that no harmful 
enemy is coming in along with them. Ask your 
teacher or your librarian to find out why lemons 
and grapes from Italy were recently shut out. 
Study the trees of your own section, and if you 
discover they have enemies that are harming them, 
write to the Bureau of Agriculture or to the Forest 
Service in Washington, D. C., for directions as 



i88 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

to how you may help, for this is another way in 
which the government is working. Wise men study 
the tree enemies and how to get rid of them. They 
write clear and simple accounts of what they find 
out, and the government prints these. Then, 
people who wish to drive out these harmful insects 
and other enemies may have the printed matter 
for the asking. There is much that wide-awake 
boys and girls may do to help in keeping down or 
destroying many of the tree enemies, and in thus 
playing the part of good American citizens. Watch 
for the way in which you can do so most surely, and 
you will have an interesting and happy time in it all. 

Perhaps you are beginning to wonder how trees 
ever get a start, or how it happens that we ever 
have a forest when there are so many enemies 
that work against the trees. You may wonder 
still more when I tell that the most powerful and 
the most dreaded enemy of the forest is not an 
insect army, but fire. Every year fire destroys 
many trees, or injures them so much that they are 
not only quite useless but become a positive danger. 
More than this, the fire kills the young trees that 
might grow into a new forest, if the old trees were 
merely cut out and carried away. The fire, too, 
burns up the forest floor covering, exposes the soil 
to the washing away effect of the rains, and spreads 
ruin and desolation wherever it goes. 

How do such destructive forest fires get started? 
Some of them undoubtedly are set by lightning. 
Many more are set by careless campers or pic- 
nickers. A few are set deliberately by men who 
wish to clear the ground for grazing, or to make 
prospecting easier. 



FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 



189 



In the forested regions of our country the gov- 
ernment now keeps up a forest care or survey, 
and the forest rangers, during the dry season par- 
ticularly, are on the watch for fire. If, from their 
lookouts, they discover smoke or other signs of 
a fire, they signal for help, and start a vigorous 
fight against the fire. This often results in great 
saving of trees and money; the life and work of a 
forest ranger are full of interest and excitement, 




(By Arthur Newton Pack. By permission of Nature Magazine, July, 1923) 

How MANY FIRES ARE STARTED 

and you will enjoy reading about them in books 
that you may get from the library. 

Boys and girls are not likely to be called on to 
fight a forest fire, but there is scarcely one who 
may not do something better than fighting a fire 
each may help to prevent a fire. When you 
make a camp fire, be sure it is a small one, in a 
cleared space, where no dead or dry leaves will 
permit it to spread. Most of all, when you have 
finished with it, be sure it is out, thoroughly out, 
before you leave the place. If you can pour a few 
buckets of water over the embers, it will give you 
a comfortable feeling of safety every time you 
think of it after you have gone! 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

There is still another way in which boys and 
girls may help, and this is such a delightful way 
that I am sure you will all be ready to start at 
once. Of course you know that I am thinking 
of planting trees. You do this in school on Arbor 
Day, but you do not need to wait for this special 
day to come once a year; you may keep your own 
Arbor Day whenever you wish. Find out what 
trees grow best in your vicinity; talk it over in 
your class, with your mates, your teachers, your 
parents. Lay plans for a beautiful, tree-lined town, 
and then make a start as soon as you can. Some 
trees grow quite well from seeds. In California 
it does not take long for the toyon, the beautiful 
.California holly, to grow from seed into a good- 
sized tree; and there is this added pleasure in 
having one on your street, or in your yard birds 
love its red berries and will come in numbers to 
feast on them as soon as the tree is old enough to bear. 

Would you not like to ride along a road on either 
side of which fine nut or fruit trees grew, with their 
silent invitations to eat of their good things? Why 
would it not be a good idea to plant such trees, 
for shade, for beauty, and for use, along our high- 
ways? Perhaps you can start the fashion in your 
town, and I am sure many people will follow it. 

There are so many points of interest about trees 
that whole books might be written and still all 
the story would not be told. But you will wish 
to know that trees themselves write stories, and 
many men have read them. In a little book by 
Mr. Mills you will find the fascinating tale of how 
he read the life history of a pine that had lived 
for more than a thousand years. To tell the story 



FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 



191 



here would spoil it for you, but you can imagine 
how the tree told its story, though there was more 
than one surprise in it, even for one who ' knew 
trees as well as did Mr. Mills. Try reading a tree's 
history yourself some day. If you can go into 
the woods, you may be able to find the stump of 




If this section of tree in Yosemite Park could speak it could tell of 
historical events for nearly a thousand years. 



1. A. D. 923. 

2. 1066 Battle of Hastings. 

3. 1215 Magna Charta. 

4. 1492 Discovery of America. 



5. 1620 Landing of the Pilgrims. 

6. 1776 Declaration of Independence. 

7. 1860 Civil War. 



a tree that has been cut but a short time. If you 
live in a town, perhaps you can visit a sawmill, 
and look at some of the logs that have been brought 
.there to be cut into boards. You will see at once 
that the log looks as if it were made up of rings. 
Count them. Forty, fifty, perhaps as many as a 
hundred. The tree has told you its age one ring 
for every year. Perhaps the first rings are very 



192 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

close together. This may mean that the little 
tree had poor food. Here is a check or crack. 
Perhaps a very cold winter made this, when the 
frost cracked the tree at this point. Here the 
circles are wider. There was a season with plenty 
of rain. The rings on one side are wider. Prob- 
ably the trees that grew near were cut away from 
this side, and our tree was able to get more sun- 
shine. The later rings may be much wider; our 
tree had grown large and strong; it lifted its head 
far above the others into the sun and air; it sent 
down roots deep into the earth and brought up 
plenty of food and water, and so made sturdy- 
growth. Do you not think it will be fascinating 
work to read the life history of a tree? How little 
that tree knew that it was building into its very 
fiber the story of what it was enduring and just 
how it was growing. This is like our own lives, 
as we go on from day to day, busy with work 
and play, with study and fun. We do not think 
much about what we are writing into our book 
of life perhaps we think altogether too little. 
But some day it will be quite finished, that writing; 
our work will be done. You look at the tree, 
ready for its service to man, and you say, "What 
a noble tree!" So will people say of you, "What 
a noble life!" if you follow God's plan for your 
life, as the tree followed God's plan for its life, if 
you do, as did the tree, and make the best of the 
place where God has put you. 

Something to do: 

i. Write two things that boys and girls may do to 
help preserve our forests. 



FRUIT TREES AND FORESTS 193 

2. Write a short story about the work of the forest 
rangers. 

3. Find out what trees are spoken of most often in 
the Bible, and tell where they were found. 

4. Where are the oldest trees on the earth to-day to 
be found? How old are they supposed to be? 

5. Try to get a section of a tree, and study the rings. 
Imagine that you are the tree, and tell your story to 
the class. 

6. Write to the United States Forest Service for instruc- 
tions about keeping your trees free of insect pests, and 
then follow directions. 

7. How do "our feathered guardians" help in fighting 
tree enemies? What ones are the best helpers? How 
do they help ? ( 

8. Look in the Bible for stories of trees, and make a 
Bible Tree Book. 

To learn: Matthew 7. 17-20. 

The trees of Jehovah are filled with moisture, 
The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; 
Where the birds make their nests. 

Psalm 104. 16, 17a. 



LESSON xx 

SEED HOMES 

You have learned how leaf, stem, and root of 
the plant all work together for the one purpose, 
that of making good, strong seeds, not for the 
sake of the seeds, but that new plants may be had 
from season to season. You have learned what 
is perhaps the most wonderful story in all God's 
great wonder world the story of the mingling of 
two bits of life substance, that of the pollen, and 
that of the tiny ovule or seed in the seed box, from 
which grows the new seed. Perhaps you think 
the wonder story is all told, but I am sure you will 
find it interesting to study for a short time the 
kind of homes in which the little seeds grow. 

You have seen your mother line a soft basket, 
a cradle, or a baby carriage, with .blankets and 
pillows for baby brother or baby sister, and you 
have watched this little child grow, and grow 
rather fast, till the basket or carriage was quite 
too small. And, of course, you know how very 
soon a baby grows too big for the little clothes 
that fit so well in the beginning. As for yourself, 
you can hardly watch yourself grow, but if you 
will try to put on a dress or a hat or a pair of shoes 
that you wore last year, you will find it quite im- 
possible. You probably know that mother is kept 
busy getting new clothes ready for you to wear 
because you outgrow your old ones so fast! That 
is just what healthy boys and girls are expected 

194 



SEED HOMES 195 

to do to grow so well and so fast that no clothes 
fit them for a very long time. 

Healthy seeds are much like healthy boys and 
girls they grow very fast indeed. But they are 
not like boys and girls in this way: they do not 
put aside old clothes for new, and they stay in 
their cradles till they are quite grown up and ready 
to take care of themselves! Imagine boys and 
girls staying in a cradle or a baby carriage till they 
were grown into men and women! You say you 
think they would be pretty poor men and women, 
and you are right. This is another way in which 
seeds are not like boys and girls, for they would 
have little- chance of growing into strong seeds if 
they left their cradles before they were quite 
grown up. 

How do seeds get new clothes, if they continue 
to grow? By the simplest arrangement in the 
world! Their clothes grow with them! Wouldn't 
it be fun if your coats and your shoes and your 
dresses should grow just as fast as you do, and 
keep new and fresh all the time? Better than that, 
wouldn't it be fine if your cradle or your house 
just fitted your needs from the time you were a 
tiny baby till you were ready to take your own 
part in the world? Do you not agree that seed 
clothes and seed boxes are wonderful? 

Let us look at some of these seed homes. Sup- 
pose you plant a common white bean in the moist 
ground. Presently, after a few days of sunshine, 
you will see two fat little leaves coming up through 
the ground, and you may be inclined to say at 
first that the whole bean has come up. I have even 
known children who did not understand what 



196 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

was going on to put these two fat beanlike leaves 
under the ground again! But I am sure you know 
that in the moist earth the bean swelled till the 
tough outside skin burst, and then the fat leaves 
pushed up, and will feed the baby plant till the 
tiny roots have had a chance to get a good start. 
Then the leaves that come next will be of a differ- 
ent shape. They will come one after another till 
you have a good-sized plant, and some morning 
when you go to look at it you will find that it has 
bloomed. How eagerly you will watch, and how 
you will wish for very fine eyes to see the dusting 
of the pollen on the sticky stigma tops! You can 
hardly hope to see what is going on, but you will 
know that the fertilization has taken place when 
you see the pretty petals beginning to wither and 
drop. Then you will note that the cradle of the 
baby seeds is taking shape. What a queer cradle 
it is! Long and narrow and green! But every 
day it grows wider and thicker and longer. Pres- 
ently you can feel, by running your fingers down 
both sides of the green cradle, the baby seeds that 
are tucked on the inside. You will see how very 
firmly the cradle is tied to the mother plant. If 
you break off a "pod," as we have come to call 
cradles of this sort, and if you split it down on one 
side and open it, you will see that each little seed, 
which is green like the cradle at first, seems to be 
tied to the cradle too. Do you suppose this is to 
keep it from falling out? Not at all! It is through 
this little tie that the baby seed gets its food from 
the mother plant. You must remember that the 
roots are pushing through the ground in search of 
water, and foods of one sort and another; that 



SEED HOMES 197 

all these juices are being pumped up to the leaves 
to be cooked in the sunshine, and that they are 
being sent to the seeds to help them to grow. Even 
the thick walls of the cradle are to help feed these 
hungry little plant children in their snug cradle. 

As the days go on, the seeds grow larger and 
larger. The cradle walls grow thinner. The color 
changes from green to yellow. After a time, the 
little string-like fastening that held the seed in 
its place in the cradle dries, and may disappear 
entirely. The seed is grown. It needs no more 
food. It is ready to start all over again, as soon 
as it leaves its home. How it leaves home is another 
story, and we will keep that for next time. 

For another seed-home story, go to the tomato; 
plant the seeds and wait for them to sprout. First 
come up two long narrow straplike leaves, cun- 
ningly folded in the little brown cap of the seed. 
If you know the rough and very much cut leaves 
of the tomato, you will never guess that these two 
straight leaves belong at all. Like the first bean 
leaves, they are for food for the baby plant. When 
the tender little rootlets have made a start, and 
the next leaves grow from the stem, you will find 
them to be true tomato plant leaves. They grow 
very fast, and after a time you see small yellow 
blossoms on the plant. Again the wonderful story 
of fertilization is carried out, and you will go to 
your garden some fine morning to discover your 
plant has several green, ribbed balls where the 
yellow blossoms had been a day or two before. 
These are baby tomatoes. As the plant drinks 
in food and sends it to the growing tomatoes, 
these grow too. Presently they begin to change 



ig8 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

color, and after spending a few short weeks on the 
mother plant in the warm sunshine, they become 
a brilliant red, and you say the tomatoes are ripe! 
You cut them and take them to the kitchen to be 
made into a delicious salad or a soup. Do you 
ever stop to think that the tomato is just a juicy 
cradle, not for one seed, but for many? If you 
had cut a green tomato, you might have seen on 
its walls the tiny baby seeds, wearing, as seems 
quite proper for babies, nice little white dresses. 
As the tomato ripened, the seeds grew, and their 
dresses grew at the same time. Like the beans, 
the seeds were attached to the cradle walls by 
tiny fastenings through which the food that was 
to make them grow was sent to them. When such 
a connection is no longer needed, it disappears 
almost or quite entirely, so that you may never 
have noticed it in the ripe tomato, but you will 
be interested in looking for it in the green fruit. 

Another garden cradle holds the baby seeds in 
quite a different fashion. You might say that 
each seed stands on its one toe, and this plant 
not only has many cradles, but every cradle cares 
for dozens and dozens of children. The plant is 
a regular Old Woman- who-lived-in-a-shoe among the 
plants! But she knows exactly what to do! She 
too has a cradle that grows as the babies grow. 
She arranges the children in nice, orderly rows 
and wraps the entire cradle around with a fine 
fiber as soft as satin. Layer after layer of this 
covers the babies, each layer being a bit tougher 
and coarser than the one just below it. As the 
baby seeds grow, the covers grow and stretch, 
till the mother plant knows that the babies are 



SEED HOMES 199 

almost ready to look after themselves. Then the 
covers stop growing, and begin to turn from a 
lovely silvery green to a soft yellow. They would 
become a golden yellow if they were allowed to 
stay with the mother plant till they were quite 
ripe, but some morning the gardener goes up and 
down among the plants, or father takes a look at 
them, and says: "The green corn is ready to cut!" 
How you do enjoy the sweet, juicy ears! But 
you lay the cradle itself aside; you think that is 
only the cob! Next time, stop long enough to find 
the places on it where the babies tucked their 
toes in, and sent down from each toe the wee tube 
through which the food juices came to the growing 
baby. If they had not done so, you would have 
had no corn for dinner. What is of far greater 
importance from the plant's point of view, there 
would have been no seeds. 

There is a very common garden plant of which 
you have all eaten, and I am sure many of you 
have seen its blossom, but it is quite probable that 
you have never seen its seed. Perhaps you will 
like to watch for them when next you grow a garden. 
You know that when we wish to raise a crop of 
potatoes we cut the potatoes, taking care to leave 
on each piece an "eye," or one of the little scars 
that mark potatoes. From each eye will come a 
root, and when the plant is well grown, you may 
have noticed the very pretty white blossoms. Many 
times these blossoms do just what blossoms are 
supposed to do they produce seed. But we 
seldom think of the seed cases, or "potato balls," 
as they are sometimes called, for the crop of potatoes 
in the ground is what we care for most. Yet all 



200 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

new varieties of potatoes come from the seeds, 
and it is interesting to plant them and then watch 
to see what sort of potatoes will come from seed. 
For, strange as it may seem, there is no certainty 
that potato plants grown from seed will be like 
the mother plant, or, for that matter, like each 
other! Perhaps some boy or girl who hears this 
story of seed homes will keep sharp lookout for a 
potato ball, plant the seeds, and get a new kind of 
potato that will" be as famous as the Burbankor the 
Early Rose. That would be worth while, would it not? 

There are many more seed-home stories from the 
garden than I can begin to tell. Besides, you wish 
the fun of finding out some of them for yourselves, 
do you not? And when you have learned all there 
are in the garden, go to the trees. Discover the 
twin cradles the maple makes for her babies, and 
compare them with the queer little cradle of the 
elm tree. Find some of the shiny brown cradles 
of the oak, each snugly fitted into a cunning round 
cap that holds the cradle to the twig until the 
seed baby is well grown. 

Then you will wish to tell someone the fairy 
story of a wee white seed that wears a dress of 
finest brown leather, which is as smooth as satin. 
The ripe brown seeds are packed in cells, five in 
all, whose walls are made of a thick tough material. 
Outside of the cells, which are arranged in a pretty 
star pattern, is a white juicy substance two, three, 
or more inches thick, and covering this is another 
layer of satin, red, yellow, or green as it may happen. 
If anyone finds it hard to believe your fairy tale, 
cut a ripe apple across the center and show him 
the star-shaped core and the brown seeds lying inside! 



SEED HOMES 201 

The trees that bear cones will have a long and 
fascinating story to tell. The pines, the firs, the 
spruces, and others, each has its own pattern of 
cradle, and each its own way of caring for the 
baby seeds. See how many of them you can dis- 
cover for yourself. 

As for trees that give us nuts good for food, 
there is no end to the interesting cradles to be 
found among them. You can find out for yourselves 
about the walnut, the pecan, the filbert, the beech- 
nut, the chestnut, and the butternut. You may 
think the cradle in which the Brazil nut lives is 
the oddest of all and I must tell you about that. 
Did you ever wonder how the queer, three-cornered 
little brown nuts grow on the trees? Did they 
ever make you think of the sections of an orange? 
Perhaps you will not be surprised to learn that 
each single nut, as you buy them in market, does 
not grow all alone on the tree, but that many of 
them are crowded close together, much like the 
parts of an orange, and all are covered over with 
a strong outer case. In this they rock and swing 
in sun and wind till the seeds are fully grown. 
Then down comes the cradle, babies and all! 
The outer shell breaks with the fall, or is broken 
open by nut gatherers, or by hungry monkeys. 
But while monkeys may easily break open the 
outer shell, it is far harder to crack the three- 
cornered single shells, as the sharp edges are un- 
pleasant. Do you not suppose that is just a part 
of the plan to save all the seeds from being destroyed 
and to make sure that new plants will come? You 
will feel quite certain, I think, that the queer 
shapes did not come by mere chance. There is 



202 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

a wisdom back of the Brazil nut's plan, and back 
of the plan of every seed home, such a wisdom 
that we think it must have been a part of our 
heavenly Father's thought for his world and the 
creatures that live in it. It is easy to think of 
God when we look at the great works he has done, 
the sun and the stars, the sea, the clouds, great 
mountains, and the mighty rivers. But we can 
learn of him just as truly through learning his 
plans for the wee things of life, the things that 
we accept as a matter of course. Let us remember 
that he has chosen the weak things of life to con- 
found those that are mighty, and that in wisdom 
has he made them all. Let us see his loving care 
in the wonderful seed homes that he has provided, 
and in this way we shall get one more glimpse of 
his great wisdom and power. 

Something to do: 

1. Make a collection of seed homes pods, sails, pits, 
nuts, and other kinds. See how prettily you can arrange 
your collection, and how many new facts you can learn 
by yourself about seed homes. 

2. Find out why nuts have hard shells. 

3. Discover what sort of seed homes the strawberry, 
the red raspberry, and the currant have. 

4. Examine the seed of the pin cherry, and tell what 
it is like. 

5. Imagine you are a chestnut, and write the story of 
your life. 

6. Describe the rose seed home. 

To learn: Matthew 13. 31, 32. 

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest . . . 
shall not cease. Genesis 8. 22. 



LESSON XXI 
HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 

As you have studied the life of different plants, 
and have found how the plant works to make strong 
new seeds, to feed them, to care for them in snug 
and comfortable cradles till they are able to look 
after themselves, perhaps you have decided that 
the plant's work was finished when the seeds were 
ripe. Good seed, well ripened, is most surely the 
chief aim of the growing plant, but many of them 
act as if they were not entirely satisfied when this 
is accomplished; they try to finish up the task by 
helping their seed children find a new home. 

Does this seem very strange to you? Do you 
wonder why seeds need a home other than that of 
the mother plant? And, most of all, do you wonder 
how a plant that is rooted fast in the earth can 
possibly help her seed children travel 'to a new place 
to live? Let us see if we can find the answers to 
any of these questions. 

First, why should seeds need a new home? Sup- 
pose that all seeds, as they ripened, fell around the 
mother plant. What would happen? The mother 
plant has been taking the food from 
the earth to feed her growing children, 
and so the ground cannot be as rich as 
it once was; the food for new plants 
would not be as good. Besides, if all 
the seeds fell together on the ground, 
some would choke out the others, even if Acorn seecT 

203 




2O4 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



they found room to begin a growth. The mother 
plant would often be so tall and strong that her 
leaves would cut off the sun from the baby plants, 
and then they would soon die. So you can see that 
it is quite important that some way should be found 
to start the seeds growing in a new home. How 
can the plant help in this? 

Let us go back to the bean plant that we talked 
of in our last lesson. As you are a careful gardener, 
and have raised the beans for your table, you have 
probably always gathered them a little before 
they were "dead ripe"; that is, a little before they 
were so ripe that the mother plant was sending 
them off to find a new place in which to start. 
If you leave a bean or two on the vine and watch 
to see what will happen, you will some day dis- 





Palestine Anemone 

cover that the pod has 

divided; the two halves 

have separated, and 

each hangs, dry and 

twisted, from the stem. The beans are no longer 

fastened to the pod. If you look for them, you may 

find them lying at some little distance from the 



Poppy Seed Jumper 



HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 205 

plant. What has happened? The bean pod, when it 
dried, twisted so strongly and sharply that it shot 
the beans out of their comfortable cradle, and 
sent them flying a little distance away, and so 
each little seed has a somewhat better chance of 
getting its start in life. Peas send their seeds out 
into the world in much the same way. We might 
call them shooters, as they shoot their seeds out 
of the pods. 

Ask your librarian to help you find a descrip- 
tion of another shooter that Henry Thoreau de- 
scribes, the witch hazel. It 
shoots its seeds, or nuts, 
much farther than does the 
bean or the pea, and Mr. 






Dandelion Seed Thistle Seed 

Showing parachutes 



Milkweed Seed Flying Away 

SEEDS How THEY TRAVEL AND WHY 



Thoreau tells in a very interesting fashion of hearing 
the little nuts drop on the floor during the night, 
and of finding out what made the noise that 
puzzled him so much at first. Can you find any 
other shooters? 

Some plants make air sailors of their seeds, 



2O6 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




Winged Maple Seed 



and provide them sails and parachutes. The milk- 
weed, the cottonwood tree, dandelion, the thistle, 
are among the air sailors, and you will have an 
interesting time in finding out for yourself just 
how the flying machines of each kind of seed differ 
from the others. 

In the early summer you have often noticed the 
fruits of the maple tree hanging 
in clusters from the tree. Perhaps 
you have called them "maple 
keys," as many people do. It 
would be more correct to call 
them "maple sails," would it not? 
For, if you watch till the seeds 
are quite ripe in their twin cradles, 
some breezy day, you will see 
them go sailing off on the wind to 
find a new home. The elm tree and the ash have 
sailor children too, and you will be glad to hunt for 
them, and to draw their pictures in 
your notebook. How many other sail- 
ors can you find among the seeds? 

It is quite likely that you have 
never seen a plant sending its children 
off to take a real water sailing trip, 
but you have seen and probably eaten 
the fruit of the coconut. Many of 
these trees grow quite close to the edge of the sea, 
and when the fruit is ripe it may fall and bounce and 
roll till it gets into the water. Then the wind and 
the waves may carry it for a long distance, finally 
washing it up on some shore far away from the 
one where it began life. There it sends down its 
shoots, and after a time a new coconut palm has 






HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 207 

begun to take root, and grows, till it in turn sends 
out its children. 

Some plants use quite a different plan in sending 
away their children. They wrap the seeds up in 
the most attractive packages that fairly cry, 
"Take me, take me!" 
Have you never seen 
such a seed package? 
Why, certainly! Apples, 
pears, peaches, plums, 
apricots, oranges, and 
many more, belong in this 
list. You and your 
friends eat the sweet and coconut seed Husk cut away 

. , , , Showing Husk showing nut 

luscious pulp that sur- 
rounds the seed, and you seldom eat it under the 
tree on which it grew. This means that you are 
quite likely to throw the seed down in some spot far 
away from the parent plant, where it will have a 
better chance to grow. Perhaps you think the peach 
is a native American, but it really came in the first 
place from far-off Persia, and was carried so far, and 
has found so many new homes, almost entirely because 
its seed package has been so attractive to men 
and women, boys and girls. 

But notice another part of the plan it is only 
the sweet and juicy pulp that you eat. The seed 
itself is shut in a hard and often a very tough case 
that you do not like at all, and that you carefully 
avoid eating. The brown case of the apple seed 
has an unpleasant taste. The pit of the peach 
has a bitter oil that keeps it from being eaten, 
and when the tender pulp has been used, you 
throw the true seed aside. 



208 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Some plants extend their invitations, not to men 
and women, but to birds, and get a better chance 
for a good start for their seeds in this way. One 
kind of cedar shuts its seeds in bright-red berries 
that attract the attention of the birds, who feed 
upon them, carrying them away in their crops. 
The seed itself is in a very hard shell that is not 
ground up with the rest of the food, and so cannot 
be digested, but is dropped by the birds, and the 
new plant begins its life, perhaps miles from the 
parent plant. The mistletoe, a plant that lives 
. and grows on oaks, has a sticky material as a cover- 
ing. When the birds eat the ripe berries, they 
try to remove this from their bills after a meal, 
and so they often help to plant the seeds on another 
oak bough, the sticky material helping to hold 
them in place till they have had time to send down 
the roots that pierce the bark and suck the oak 
juices. 

Some plants get the help of the birds in another 
way. The birds may alight in wet places and get 
bits of mud caught on their feet. This mud may 
contain many seeds; or perhaps the bird may again 
alight on a weed or tree where the seeds are ready 
to go, and these will get caught in the mud on the 
bird's foot. This mud may dry and stick to the 
foot for a long time, and the seeds may finally be 
planted miles away from their first home. A great 
English student once raised over eighty .plants 
from seeds that he found in the bit of mud that 
he took from the foot of a bird. 

I suppose you might call these seeds travelers, 
paying passengers, for at least those that have a 
pulpy covering that is good for birds to eat have 



HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 209 





paid their way. But there is a large class of seeds 

that we shall have to call tramps. They steal rides 

whenever and wherever they can. Perhaps this 

is because they never could get anyone to give 

them a ride! Have you ever gone for a walk in 

the autumn and come back with your coat well 

covered with 

some o f these 

little tramps? 

You may call 

them burs, or 

stick-tights . 

Some of them 

have hooks, and 

some have barbs, 

while others have 

teeth with which 

4-~ T, 4-^ , Bur Tramp Seed Bur Bract 

tO hang tO OUr V (Enlarged) 

dresses, to the 

wool of a passing sheep, or the tail or the 
thick coat of your dog, or the manes and tails -of 
animals. Of course, as soon as we can get the 
chance, we pick off these unpleasant things and 
fling them on the ground, and we have done exactly 
the best thing for them we have given them a 
place for a new home. Be on the watch for these 
fellows, and see how long a list of seed tramps 
you can make. 

Sometimes seed tramps are really quite terrible. 
There is an African plant that has a way of fasten- 
ing itself so firmly into the hair of animals that 
it is said a lion will kill himself in his efforts to 
tear the seed case from his skin. Another ugly 
customer has made its way into California through 



2IO 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




Photograph by Maude A. Jumper, Shafter ^California. Shafter, Kern Company 

BOY SCOUT TROOP No. i 

One of the boys who helped to free the California roadways of 
the troublesome puncture weed 



HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 211 

a cargo of goods from a foreign country. Each 
little seed has two very sharp and tough points, 
about as big as a common carpet tack. They are 
so arranged that no matter how the seed falls, 
one of these points is always up. The points are 
so tough that passing automobiles do not break 
them. Quite the contrary! The point buries itself 
in the rubber of the tire, and the seed is carried 
off. In this way the dreadful plant has been widely 
spread, and measures are now necessary to control 
it and to banish it from the highways. 

For a happier story of seeds seeking a new home, 
you must read a delightful book by E. A. Mills, 
Rocky Mountain Wonderland. He tells of watching 
a forest fire one day, and of seeing, before the 
smoke had died down, brown- winged seeds flut- 
tering from the top of a burned tree. The lodge 
pole pines have cones in which the seeds are sealed 
by a sort of gum or wax. This had been melted 
by the heat, so that the shut-in seeds were set 
free, and came fluttering down to sow the burned- 
over ground at the very first chance. 

Do you not agree that it is a wonderful thing 
that the fire that destroys the lodge pole pines is 
exactly what is needed to sow the burned-over 
ground with new seeds? But the perfect fitting 
of the plan does not end there. Can you imagine 
what sort of soil the little seeds like to grow in? 
A soil that is cleared of other growth, and fertil- 
ized by ashes! 

Our human way of seeing things does not always 
let us know quite so surely how the parts of God's 
plans fit so wonderfully into one another, but it 
helps very much to see this in even one single 



2io 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




Photograph by Maude A. Jumper, Shafter .^California. Shatter, Kern. Company 

BOY SCOUT TROOP No. i 

One of the boys who helped to free the California roadways of 
the troublesome puncture weed 



HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 211 

a cargo of goods from a foreign country. Each 
little seed has two very sharp and tough points, 
about as big as a common carpet tack. They are 
so arranged that no matter how the seed falls, 
one of these points is always up. The points are 
so tough that passing automobiles do not break 
them. Quite the contrary! The point buries itself 
in the rubber of the tire, and the seed is carried 
off. In this way the dreadful plant has been widely 
spread, and measures are now necessary to control 
it and to banish it from the highways. 

For a happier story of seeds seeking a new home, 
you must read a delightful book by E. A. Mills, 
Rocky Mountain Wonderland. He tells of watching 
a forest fire one day, and of seeing, before the 
smoke had died down, brown-winged seeds flut- 
tering from the top of a burned tree. The lodge 
pole pines have cones in which the seeds are sealed 
by a sort of gum or wax. This had been melted 
by the heat, so that the shut-in seeds were set 
free, and came fluttering down to sow the burned- 
over ground at the very first chance. 

Do you not agree that it is a wonderful thing 
that the fire that destroys the lodge pole pines is 
exactly what is needed to sow the burned-over 
ground with new seeds? But the perfect fitting 
of the plan does not end there. Can you imagine 
what sort of soil the little seeds like to grow in? 
A soil that is cleared of other growth, and fertil- 
ized by ashes! 

Our human way of seeing things does not always 
let us know quite so surely how the parts of God's 
plans fit so wonderfully into one another, but it 
helps very much to see this in even one single 



212 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

case. We surely agree that the lives of boys and 
girls are of much worth to the heavenly Father. 
If he so carefully plans for the plant life, how much 
more carefully must he plan for human life! Ought 
we not to take heed to the finding out of these 
plans? Then, like the tiny seeds, we must throw 
down deep roots, send up strong plants, and bring 
forth the best of fruit. Do you remember what 
Jesus said about this? "Herein is my Father 
glorified, that ye bear much fruit." "Apart from 
me ye can do nothing." 

You do not need to be told that the fruit of 
which Jesus is speaking is what the Bible calls 
the "fruits of the spirit." If this seems hard for 
you to understand, remember that even a child 
is known by his doings. Do you think that cheat- 
ing in games or failing to play fair is a good fruit? 
Or would you rather have a friend who is always 
cheerful and helpful? Do you like your chum to 
share with you? What other good fruits can you 
remember? 

Something to do: 

1. Make a collection of seeds that travel because 
they send out invitations for rides. 

2. Tell your mother a story of the "tramp seeds." 

3 . Find a Bible story about seeds and learn to tell it. 

4. Find how the squirrels and chipmunks may help 
seeds to get new homes. 

5. Are the wild flowers in your community being 
destroyed? Find out about it; discuss it with your 
teacher and your classmates, and see if there is anything 
you can do to help in the matter. 

6. Help some seeds to find new homes by planting 
those that will grow easily in some place where they 



HOW SEEDS FIND NEW HOMES 213 

will give pleasure by hiding an ugly fence or a bare bank. 

7. Think of the boy or of the girl you like best to 
play with. Why do you like this playfellow? Think 
of things you do not like in yourself. For example, 
quarreling, frowning, getting cross, wanting the best 
of things for yourself. Perhaps it will help you to rule 
a sheet of paper with a line running down the middle 
of it. 

At the top of one column you might print or draw a 
thistle, and under this you may write the names of some 
of the "thistle deeds," such as being selfish about the 
best seat, the largest bit of candy, or something of the 
sort. When you have pulled that thistle out of your 
heart garden rub out the name on the paper ! 

At the top of the second column, write "Good Fruit." 
Perhaps you will make this pretty with a picture. Under 
this write all the kind and helpful deeds you see your 
mates doing for a week. What a long, long list you will 
have! 

To learn: Genesis i. n, 12. 

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening with- 
hold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall 
prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall 
be alike good. Ecclesiastes u. 6. 



LESSON XXII 
OUR DAILY BREAD 

"COME, Don! Come, father!" called Ruth, 
"Dinner is ready, and I have the loveliest surprise!" 

Don followed his father into the dining room, 
his bright eyes searching for the surprise. But he 
said not a word at first. He sang with the others 
the old Jerusalem grace, beginning 

"God is great, and God is good, 
And we thank him for this food." 

But as soon as he was seated, he broke out with, 
"I don't see any surprise!" 

Then mother lifted a snowy napkin from the 
bread tray, and with a proud smile disclosed a 
loaf of fresh bread. What a brown crusty top it 
had, and how good it smelled! 

"Ruth's first loaf of bread!" she said. 

"I made it all by myself!" said Ruth. 

Don could scarcely wait till Ruth had received 
father's praise for her work before he began slyly, 
"But you just couldn't make a loaf of bread all 
by yourself, Ruth." 

"Why, Don Harris! I did indeed make it all 
alone. Mother never touched it!" she said with 
some indignation. 

As Don continued to shake his head, his eyes 
dancing with fun, she went on: 
, "I measured the milk and the water and the 

214 



OUR DAILY BREAD 215 

yeast and the salt and the flour, and put them all 
in the mixer " 

"And what about the flour?" demanded Don. 
"I have not forgotten my primary teaching, if you 
have) Miss Ruth! 'Back of the loaf the flour, and 
back of the flour the grain'; don't you remember?" 

" 'And back of the grain '; yes, I know what 
you mean now, Don. I hadn't thought of it be- 
fore," said Ruth. 

"It's splendid bread," said father, helping him- 
self to a piece; "I'm glad you made such a big loaf; 
I'm glad too that you did not ask all the persons 
who helped make it to come for dinner, for I sus- 
pect there would be so many that there would not 
be a crumb apiece for them." 

"You'd have to begin with the errand boy who 
brought the bag of flour to the kitchen door; then 
there would be the grocer who keeps the store, 
and his clerk who ordered the flour, and all the 
men that ran the train on which it came to the 
town, and the workmen who made the railroad " 
Don was thoroughly enjoying himself as he gave 
free rein to his imagination. 

Ruth laughed as she pictured all these helpers 
crowding into the dining room to share with her 
her first loaf of bread. 

"They all helped," she admitted, "but I'd rather 
share it with those who helped the most the 
people who raised the grain, and those who turned 
the grain into flour. Who do you suppose they 
were, father, and just where did our loaf come 
from?" 

"Perhaps the grain came from California or 
Kansas or Minnesota; it may have come from any 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



of our great wheat-growing States. It may have 
been raised in Canada; if the crop there was poor, 




United States Department of Agriculture 
(By permission of Nature Magazine, July, 1924) 

WHEAT, THE KING OF CEREALS 

it may have come from Europe or South America," 
said father. 

"But with all the land we have, we are pretty 
apt to grow in the United States what grain we 



OUR DAILY BREAD 217 

need for ourselves, and much more too, aren't we, 
father?" asked Don. 

"Yes, generally," agreed father. "I was merely 
thinking of , a statement that I read the other day 
that the harvest could be followed around the 
world, month by month. We Americans are the 
greatest wheat-eaters in the world, and we naturally 
produce the most wheat." 

"Do you remember the Englishman who visited 
the United States when it was the fashion for 
men to wear whiskers on the chin, and what he 
said about us?" asked mother. "He wrote that 
'Americans eat so much wheat that the spears, 
or blades, or whatever you call them, grow out 
under their chins.' " 

Don and Ruth laughed merrily at this funny 
picture, and Don asked: 

"How much wheat do we actually eat every 
year, mother?" 

"Two hundred and fifty loaves of bread for 
every man, woman and child," answered mother, 
promptly. "Father will tell you how many bushels 
of wheat that means." 

"Two hundred and fifty loaves!" gasped Ruth 
in surprise. "That means I shall have to make 
a thousand loaves for just our family. ' How much 
wheat will that be, father?" 

"You can make just about two hundred and 
fifty loaves of bread from one barrel of flour," 
replied father. "It requires five bushels of wheat 
to make a barrel of flour, and this is just about 
the average amount of wheat eaten by every person 
in the United States in a year." 
."Some work ahead of you, if you are to use four 



218 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

barrels of flour, and make a thousand loaves of 
bread, you see," grinned Don at his sister. "But, 
father, tell us more of the fellows who helped Ruth 
make her first loaf." 

"We must count, of course, the men who plowed 
and sowed the wheat fields," said father. "Of course 
this is mostly done now by tractors, but when I 
was a boy such means had not yet been thought 
out. I lived on a farm of two hundred acres, and 
I plowed many a field, with two strong horses to 
drag a steel plow. We thought a. great advance 
had been made after the vast prairie farms came 
under cultivation, and two, four, or six teams were 
used on the plows." 

"It was a wonderful sight to see plow after plow 
following one another around a big field, turning 
up the rich earth," said mother. 

"It was, indeed," agreed father, "but the trac- 
tors are both cheaper and easier, and this makes 
it possible for even the poor people in America to 
have good wheat bread on their tables every day, 
in place of the black bread which many living in 
lands less favored than ours must use." 

"I'd like to see a field of ripe wheat, with the 
wind blowing across it," said Don. 

"It makes, a great picture," said father, "but 
one that I like better is the cutting of the wheat. 
Many an acre I have cut when I was a little 
younger." 

"With a reaping machine, I suppose?" asked Don. 

"Yes," answered father, "though my grand- 
father thought the day of the reaper would never 
come. He had used a sickle. I remember that 
one hung in the old attic at home. It must have 



OUR DAILY BREAD 219 

been quite like the sickle of Bible times. It was 
a single curved knife, the cutting edge being on 
the inside of the curve. The sickle had a short 
wooden handle. The reaper grasped a handful of 
the ripe stalks of grain in his left hand, and with 
a swing of the sickle, cut them off and threw them 
down." 

"I thought grandfather said he used to reap 
with a cradle," said Don. 

"So he did," answered father, "and he thought 
that was a vast improvement over his father's 
sickle." 

"How was it different from the sickle?" asked 
Ruth. 

"It had a long and slightly curved blade," an- 
swered father, "shaped something like a scythe, 
with several similarly curved arms of wood, arranged 
at regular intervals above it. On the long wooden 
handle were two pegs by which the reaper swung 
it. It was better than the sickle because one could 
cut the wheat much more rapidly, and then the 
wheat, falling against the wooden arms, was laid 
in orderly heaps on the ground, and so was much 
easier to bind into sheaves." 

"But wheat is cu,t to-day by reaping machines 
altogether, isn't it?" asked Ruth. 

"Yes," answered father, "but you must remember 
this was not always so. It is not yet a hundred 
years since the very first reaping machine was 
tried out. Cyrus McCormick, a young farmer, 
ran the first reaper on his own farm in 1831. After 
that, Wood, Marsh, Osborne, and others added 
improvements from time to time, till the old hand 
cradle was banished from the farm forever." 



22O 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 




OUR DAILY BREAD 221 

"Then Ruth ought to ask all these men to share 
her loaf, oughtn't she, father?" asked Don. 

"Indeed she ought," smiled father. "And she 
must not forget Deering, who made the first really 
successful binding attachment for the reaper. There 
had been binders before, but they required wire 
to bind and tie the sheaves. Of course bits of this 
found their way into the throats of the farmers' 
cattle, and Deering worked till he learned how to 
use twine in the binder, and save all the suffering 
and loss that the wire caused." 

"And we haven't said a word about the mill 
men who ground the wheat, sifted and packed the 
flour, and shipped it to us," added Ruth. 

"And there were others who helped in making 
the sugar, digging and refining the salt, and pre- 
paring the yeast you used," said Don. 

"I am thinking of another group of friends who 
also helped," said mother, smiling, as she gathered 
little heaps of the crumbs on the table cloth. 

"The birds!" cried Ruth. "How did I ever 
forget them?" 

"And the plowmen earthworms!" laughed Don. 
"And the horses! I am sure they helped some- 
where in the process. Who knows but that the 
beavers helped too, by building a meadow, long 
ago, on which the wheat grew?" 

"It is not impossible," said father. 

Ruth laughed merrily. "What a funny dinner party 
we would have had if all the people and all the crea- 
tures that helped me make a loaf of bread had come!" 

"And yet if any one of them had failed to do 
his part, we might have had no bread for dinner," 
said mother. 



222 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



Don looked a little sober at the thought. 

"We could get on without pie, cake, and goodies 
of that sort," he said, "though I should not like 
it very well; but what ever would we do without 
bread?" 

"We would be in a very bad way, would we 
not?" agreed mother. "That is why people call 
bread 'the staff of life.' It is our most important 
food. Jesus was thinking of this when he taught 
his friends and helpers how much they needed him. 
He said they must depend on him for daily strength 
just as they depended on bread as the chief part 
of their daily food. He said: 'I am the bread of 
life. I am the true bread, the bread your heavenly 
Father gives you. The man that eats of me shall 
never be hungry.' Of course you know he was 
thinking of soul hunger, and meant that the per- 
sons who follow in his ways shall be satisfied. 
They who hunger after right ways and right liv- 
ing shall get satisfaction." 

"I did not know the Bible verses meant all of 
that, mother," cried Ruth. "I will think of it 
when I make my next loaf of bread. It will not 
be just a loaf that I 'make all by myself!' " 

"No, indeed!" said mother. "When you sing 
in Sunday school 

'Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven, 
Feed me till I want no more,' 

you think of Jesus and what he has done for you; 
and when you eat one of these firm, white slices 
you may let it remind you of him and of all the 
helpers whom God has set to work for one another 
in his great wonder world." 



OUR DAILY BREAD 223 

Something to do: 

1. Jesus talked one day to the Jews and to his friends 
about being the Bread of Life. Find out what he said, 
and what had happened the day before. 

2. Trace from your geographies an outline map of 
the world, and on a large sheet of paper make a harvest 
calendar, and show that wheat is gathered in some part 
of the world every month in the year. 

3. Look for pictures of wheat fields, reapers, flour 
mills, bakeries, loaves of bread, and other such pictures. 
You will easily find them in the advertising pages of 
magazines. Put them together to make an interesting 
story of a loaf of bread. 

4. Find and illustrate the verse that begins "Back of 
the loaf is the snowy flour." 

To learn: Psalm 81. 16; or Psalm 147. 14; or Psalm 
103. 1-5. 

To read or sing: The hymn, "Come, Ye Thankful People, 
Come." 

Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that 
cometh to me shall not hunger. My Father giveth you 
the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God 
is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth 
life unto the world. John 6. 35, 32, 33. 



PART IV 
FOUR-FOOTED COMRADES 



LESSON XXIII 
DOG COMPANIONS 

OPEN your geographies to the map of Alaska. 
On the western coast you will find a tiny black 
dot marked "Nome." Put your right thumb on 
this dot, and place your first finger on the smaller 
dot on Norton Sound, which is marked "Shaklolik." 
It is not far from one place to the other, is it? Not 
far on a printed page, surely. Not very far, if you 
were to travel from one point to the other in a 
comfortable Pullman car. But suppose you had 
to make the trip in a blizzard, with snow whirling 
in a blinding mass about you, the wind blowing 
at you as you have never even guessed the wind 
could blow, and the thermometer marking such a 
cold as you never knew could be, do you not think 
that every one of the miles from Shaklolik to Nome 
would stretch out till it seemed ten times as long 
as it really is? Suppose, too, that your way of 
travel is not by Pullman, and certainly not by 
auto, but by dog sledge! 

You may remember reading of the men who 
took this journey, and their reason for doing it. 
Early in the winter of 1925, a cry of distress reached 
the United States from the city of Nome, the larg- 
est city in a vast territory that reaches a thousand 
miles to the east, and extends north to the arctic 
circle. This was the pitiful message sent out by 
the doctors -of Nome: 

"Diphtheria has broken out, and we have used 
all our anti- toxin. Send us more quickly!" 

227 



228 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

You probably know that diphtheria is a disease 
that is dreaded anywhere, though much of its 
fear has been removed since doctors have learned 
to check it by the use of anti- toxin. In the cold 
north, however, diphtheria is especially severe, and 
so many of the people have died with it that it 
is there called "the black death." Everyone knows 
this, so you can guess that as soon as the message 
was received, the precious anti-toxin was hurried 
on its way as fast as steam could take it. But 
the railway does not reach to Nome, so preparations 
were started as quickly as possible to carry the 
serum from the end of the railway to Nome. 

"Of course," you say, "there were flying ma- 
chines to hurry the medicine to the sick people 
as fast as ever it could be taken." Indeed, there 
were flying machines, and men ready to risk their 
lives to get the serum through to Nome. But 
the authorities said that the storm was far too 
heavy for flying machines. The serum might be 
entirely lost. A safer way must be found. 

You know what way was chosen. You know 
how all the world watched the brave struggle of 
"Scotty" and "Balto" and their drivers to get the 
precious medicine through in shortest possible 
time. You have read of the storm, so thick that 
once the team and driver passed through a village 
without knowing it. You have read that only the 
lead dog's keen sense of smell kept them all on 
the trail when the blinding snow hid the way. 
You have fairly danced with joy when you came 
to the end of the tale, and you knew that the med- 
icine arrived in time to stop the sickness and save 
many lives, and you have looked at B alto's picture, 



DOG COMPANIONS 



229 



and wished you might throw your arms around 
his neck and tell him you thought him the finest 
dog that ever lived, for, without him and his good 




(Drawn by Ralph O. Yardley, Stockton Record, Stockton, California) 

MESSENGERS OF MERCY 
Alaskan dogs that brought anti-toxin to save life 

sense, perhaps the serum would never have reached 
Nome. 

You may have heard how the dogs helped in 



2 3 o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

finding the north pole. Admiral Peary was brave 
and persistent, but he has said many times that 
he never could have reached the north pole if he 
had not had his brave and faithful dogs. 

Again and again men tried to reach the south 
pole, and again and again they failed. Finally 
they followed Peary's example, and secured dogs 
to help them. But, as there are no dogs at the 
south pole, the men sent north for them, and when 
they returned this time from the antarctic regions, 
they brought the news that the dogs had carried 
the expedition through to the south pole! 

Probably not a boy or a girl who reads this book 
does not know something of the part that was 
played by dogs in the great World War. Dogs 
were used for sentinels, and they distinguished them- 
selves in the Red Cross Service. They were sent 
out with first-aid kits and packages of food strapped 
to their backs, and more than one home to-day is 
happy because a loved one was saved through the 
help of these dogs. Dogs were often used to carry 
messages, and were said to be three times as good 
as men in this work! They swam streams, crossed 
No Man's Land, crawled through barbed wire 
entanglements, and let nothing stop them till they 
found the masters to whom they were taking the 
messages. 

Sometimes, too, sledge dogs saved whole com- 
panies of soldiers by dragging to them in the moun- 
tain heights the ammunitions that could be taken 
up to these steep trails in no other fashion. 

But it is not alone in war or on scientific expe- 
ditions that dogs have served men well. You will 
be delighted to know that dogs have helped more 



DOG COMPANIONS 231 

than once to carry the dear story of the love of 
Jesus for all the world to people who have never 
heard it. Archdeacon Stuck, the first man to have 
climbed to the top of Mount McKinley, was a devoted 
missionary. He traveled thousands of miles with a 
dog team, and taught the Indians the story of the 
gospel. Egerton Young, another great missionary, 
wrote a fascinating book, called My Dogs of the 
Northland, in which he tells of the bravery, clever- 
ness, and help of the dogs. You will have a delight- 
ful time in hearing or in reading these stories. 

Perhaps you are beginning to think that too 
much is being said about the unusual dog, and 
too little about the more ordinary friend who is 
playmate, companion, or watch dog for us. We 
should be quite wrong to forget these four-footed 
friends whom we depend on in many ways, even 
though they may not have performed any very 
remarkable deeds. 

The stories of the famous Saint Bernard dogs 
who are trained to rescue travelers lost in the snow 
are known to every child. Less often do we think 
of and give praise to the shepherd dogs without 
which the farmers would find it difiicult to carry 
on their work. This is especially true in Scotland, 
where the heavy mists that often hide the hills 
makes a dog worth more in sheep tending than a 
man. The dogs' keen sense of smell makes it 
possible for them to find the sheep in weather in 
which a man can see but a very short distance. 

The skill and intelligence which the shepherd 
dogs display in caring for sheep is very wonderful. 
Stories are told of dogs that manage a drove of 
several hundred sheep with almost no direction from 



232 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

the master. Such a dog has been known to drive 
a great flock of sheep from the pasture to the fold, 
separate the little lambs and their mothers, and 
drive them to one fold, while all of the other sheep 
were put in a second fold; not a single mistake 
was made, and not a single animal was harmed or 
frightened. You would think a man who could 
do as well was very skillful indeed, would you not? 

A delightful tale of a shepherd dog and his work 
on a Scotch farm is Bob, Son of Battle. His intelli- 
gence and his skill are most interestingly described, 
and you will like the story very much. 

It is said that a good dog has in his life one per- 
son whom he fully owns as master, one person to 
whom he will always give his love and his trust 
as well as his ready obedience. Many times dogs, 
losing their masters, show their sorrow in very 
touching ways. Greyfriars' Bobby is the tale of a 
little terrier whose master died and was buried in 
an old churchyard, and from the day when Bobby 
saw the earth close over the casket, he never was 
very far from the grave. You will love this pretty 
tale of a faithful little dog. 

Perhaps you ask where dogs were first found, 
and if there are yet any wild dogs. This is a ques- 
tion that no one is quite able to answer. It is sup- 
posed by many wise people that dogs came from 
the taming of the wolves. One dog lover who also 
loves a joke tells of entering a tame wolf in a dog 
show one time, and of fooling many of the people 
in this way! Animals that resemble our dogs are 
found wild in some parts of the world, but we 
cannot be quite sure that all modern dogs came 
from such ancestors. We are only rather sure 



DOG COMPANIONS 233 

that, of . all the animals tamed by man, the dog 
has lived with him the longest. 

How did man happen to tame a dog in the first 
place? Again we can only guess. Perhaps dogs 
crept up to the warmth and comfort of man's fire. 
Perhaps a cave man brought home some puppies 
for his children to play with. Perhaps wild dogs 
began to follow man, and to use for their food that 
part of the game which he did not carry away. 
Perhaps man saw that dogs were so fleet that they 
could overtake game more easily than he could, 
and so he had the bright idea of taming them to 
help him in hunting. At any rate, from very 
early times dogs became the companions and the 
helpers of men. Men and dogs have lived together 
and worked together and played together for so 
long that we can only guess as to how the partner- 
ship began. 

But, though for many years the dog has lived 
with man, he still shows some of his original habits. 
Every one of you has seen a dog about to take a 
nap in his basket or on the lawn. What does he 
do first of all? He turns round and round, several 
times. Has someone told you that he does this 
to smooth his bed? Do you suppose the wild dogs 
or the wolves found this a useful habit, since it 
not only made a soft nest for them, but drove away 
snakes and other creatures that might have hurt 
them? 

Probably you have to be careful in feeding your 
pet dog, or he will eat too much. You say he is 
a greedy fellow, ,and that he is not wise enough to 
stop eating when he has had all that is good for 
him. Perhaps his greediness comes from a time, 



234 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

long ago, when he did not have any certainty that 
food would be at hand when he was hungry. Then 
it was the part of wisdom to eat all that he could, 
as there was no telling when he might find the 
next meal! 

There is a dog on my street that gets many a 
scolding, and not a few whippings, because he will 
run out and bark at passing autos. "Silly dog!" 
you say. "He never can catch one, and he may 
get badly hurt." 

"Silly people!" it would be more correct to say. 
For this habit of the dog, annoying as it is now, 
once helped to save his life, in those long ago times 
when his food depended on his jumping first and 
thinking second! If he had not done so, he would 
have gone hungry many times. You see, what 
my neighbors wish their dog to do is to think first 
and act second. If he could do this, he would not 
chase autos, for he is a good and obedient dog. 
But he cannot unlearn the old habit of jumping 
and then thinking. 

What other old habits has your dog kept? Study 
him to find out. If you think yourself back into 
his old life, perhaps you can tell why he bays on 
moonlight nights; why he waves his tail in friend- 
liness, but lowers his head to growl. If you can 
discover some of the reasons back of the way your 
dog behaves, you will understand him very much 
better and know how to treat him with more wisdom. 

Do you ever wonder why the Bible says so little 
that is good about dogs? Some people tell us that 
it is because the nations among whom the Jews 
lived worshiped dogs, and so the Jews came to 
hate the dog. Others say that it is because in the 



DOG COMPANIONS 235 

land of the Hebrews dogs were the scavengers of 
the streets, and were considered unclean. Yet 
even the people who did not like dogs could not 
but see what faithful friends they could be. It 
is said that Caleb, who went to spy out the land 
of Canaan and brought back the good report of 
the land God was giving the people, was named 
Caleb because this word means the faithful dog of 
Jehovah. If this is true, it proves that these people, 
living so long ago, honored the dog for sticking so 
close to his friends, does it not? 

To-day we know still better how much we owe 
the dog. He has helped man in the chase; he has 
protected man and his property. He has worked, 
and often worked very hard, for man; he has served 
in many ways. We are only playing fair when, 
in our turn, we protect and care for the dog, and 
treat him with kindness and consideration. 

Something to do: 

1. Read the story of a brave little dog, "Stickeen," 
written by John Muir. Read also his account, in Travels 
in Alaska, of Stickeen's adventure on a glacier. 

2. Read Isaiah u. 6-9. Is this a true picture of the 
way man now understands and meets his animal friends? 
Does it mean that, when mankind becomes more tender 
and loving, animals will be less fierce and much tamer? 
Read what Mr. Darwin says about the tameness of 
animals that he found in places uninhabited by man. 
What can you do to make the Isaiah picture true now? 

3. Find the story of "Gelert," a dog that made himself 
famous through his care of a little child. Tell it to some 
child who cannot come to your class. 

4. Plan with your classmates to make and keep filled 
a drinking fountain where dogs and other small ani- 



236 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

mals may easily find fresh water to drink. A pan sunk 
in the ground, or fastened so it will not .tip, and kept 
filled, will answer, if you can do nothing better. 

5. List and read several good dog stories. Which one 
do you like best, and why? 

To learn: 

Proverbs 17. 17: A friend loveth at all times. 



LESSON XXIV 
A FAITHFUL SERVANT 

Hast thou given the horse his might? 
Hast thou clothed his neck with the quivering mane? 

Job 39. 19. 

WHEN you read the list of four-footed friends in 
this book, perhaps you smiled as you came to the 
horse, and said: "Here is a mistake! Horses do 
not count nowadays. Automobiles take their place 
almost entirely." Perhaps you went on and thought 
of the ways in which horses were used a few years 
ago, and of how so much of this work is now done 
by automotive power. 

Once, it may be, you heard the clop-clop of the 
horses' feet on the pavement before you were 
fairly out of bed, and you knew that the milkman 
was bringing, behind his sleek horses, the milk for 
your breakfast. The grocer, the butcher, the dry- 
goods man, all brought their supplies to your door 
in a delivery wagon drawn by horses. Father 
came to you on holidays with the suggestion for a 
ride, and this meant getting into a horse-drawn 
buggy. If you spent a summer on the farm, you 
saw the plowing and all of the farm work done by 
horses. 

To-day horses are not so much in evidence either 
in the city streets or on the farms. It might seem 
that, we are quite safe, then, in saying that the day 
of the horse is over. But we shall be quite mis- 
taken if we do say this! 

237 



238 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

You know what the census is, and you know that 
at certain times, perhaps once in ten years, men 
come to all of our homes, and make a count of the 
people, to see how many there are in this great 
America of ours. At the same time, they count 
the horses, together with cattle, mules, sheep, and 
any other animals that play an important part in 
our life. This has been done for many years, so, if 
we can get the census reports, we can tell how 
horses have decreased in number. Are you quite 
ready to be surprised? 

The census returns show us that we now have in 
our country 300,000 more horses than we had 
twenty years ago! It does not seem possible, does 
it? And we must remember, too, that, between 
the years 1915 and 1918, 950,000 horses were 
shipped abroad to be used in the Great War. 
Does this look as if the day of the horse were 
over? 

It is true that horses are not so numerous in the 
city streets, and certain good things have come as a 
result. It is also true that much of the hard and 
heavy work on large farms is now done by power 
machines of one kind or another. But the govern- 
ment reports show that on small farms it is often 
cheaper to use horses than tractors. 

No one can tell just how long man has counted 
the horse as one of his four-footed friends and 
helpers, but it is probably a very long time since 
the first horses were tamed and made to serve 
man. Their intelligence, strength, and obedience 
have made them of the greatest value and service 
to man. 

Some of the wise men tell us that very, very 



A FAITHFUL SERVANT 239 

long ago the creature from which our horses of 
to-day are descended was a small animal, per- 
haps about as big as a fox. That, however, is not 
the strangest thing about this long-ago creature. 
Did you ever look at a horse's foot? How many 
toes has he? One, you say. Yes, and this one 
toe is inclosed in a case, the hoof, we name it, 
which is just a sort of big, horny toe nail. 

But the long-ago horse had five toes! We can 
tell this from the bones dug up in old deposits 
which are found in different parts of the earth. 
This is but part of the story. Later deposits 
show similar animals with four and three toes. 
Some day you will go to a great museum, and see, 
in orderly arrangement, the skeletons of these 
animals that lived ages ago, and you can trace for 
yourself the changes through which they passed 
in losing their toes. How did it come about? 

Put the palm of your hand flat on the table, and 
slowly raise it on the middle finger till the thumb 
is lifted from the surface of the table. Raise the 
hand yet more, and which finger is next to leave 
the table? Yes, the little one. If you still lift your 
hand, keeping the middle finger on the table, you 
will presently lift the first and third fingers from 
the table, and only the middle one will touch. 

Now, it is supposed that the horse of this very 
long-ago time of which we have spoken, walked not 
on the soles of his feet, as do many animals, but on 
his toes. When he was chased by other animals, 
he rose to his tiptoes and found he could run faster 
in this way, and so escape his enemies. Presently 
he lost the toes that he did not use. In course of 
time he came to support all his weight on the middle 



2 4 o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

toe, and the nail of this grew strong and became a 
fine protection for the toe. 

In place of the lost toes you may see faint traces, 
odd little bony prominences, on the back of the 
horse's foot, that seem to prove the truth of the 
idea, and tell us a little about the five toes that 
horses once had in that very far-off time. 

Would you like to know how and why man set 
out to tame the first horse he had? Here again 
we can only guess. Perhaps some ancient hunter 
caught a straggler from the herd; perhaps he took 
home a slightly wounded animal. Perhaps that 
old horse tamer was clever enough to see that, if 
he could catch one of these swift wild beasts, 
and teach it to obey him, he could get far more 
game. 

There is little doubt that men at first hunted 
horses both for their flesh and for their skins. 
Later the animals were used as beasts of burden, 
and long before Job wrote his splendid description 
of a noble war-horse, men had used horses to carry 
them to the chase, to ride to battle and to drag 
their war chariots, and from that day to this there 
have been many famous war horses. 

Look up the names and the stories of some famous 
horses and their riders. Robert Browning, away on 
a visit one time, and longing for a gallop on the 
back of a lively horse, took that ride in imagination, 
and wrote "How We Brought the Good News." 
Find the poem and enjoy the ride on Roland yourself. 

What boy or girl has not heard of Sheridan's 
famous ride? Or who has not read the chariot race 
in Ben Hur, and loved the swift Arabian horses 
that brought victory to the hero? In the Civil 



A FAITHFUL SERVANT 



241 



War, General Grant's "Jack" and General Lee's 
"Traveler" were almost as well known as their 
famous riders. How large a part horses played in 




(Drawn from a photograph by P. L. Rounds) 

WONDERFUL JUMPING MARE, "VIOLETTA," VICTORIA, B. C. 

that dreadful struggle we can see when we read 
that in the year 1864 500 new horses were required 
for remounts for the cavalry every day, and that 



242 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

40,000 horses were used in the first eight months 
of that year. 

When America was discovered by Columbus no 
horses were found here. Many years later large 
bands of wild horses were discovered, and it is 
supposed that these were the descendants of horses 
brought into this country by the Spanish from 
Mexico and left behind when their men were obliged 
to go away. The Indians in time became very 
clever in catching these wild ponies, and the whole 
life of the Indian was changed because he began 
to make use of horses. You can see how this might 
be. The Indians, mounted on swift and strong 
horses, could go much greater distances in hunting, 
and when one tribe got into the land claimed by 
another tribe for hunting, quarrels arose, and war 
often followed. Can you think of other changes 
that might also come? 

The beauty, the grace and the strength of horses 
have combined to make them favorite models of 
artists, and many famous pictures of horses have 
been painted. A great woman artist painted a 
wonderful picture of horses at a fair. What was 
her name? Write it in your notebook under a small 
copy of the picture. Did she paint any other pic- 
tures of horses? of other animals? Which of her 
pictures do you like best? Why? 

There are so many types of horses that merely 
to give the names would take far too long. Horses 
are chosen according to their suitability for the 
use to which they are to be put. For heavy, hard 
work, Percheron horses have always been popular, 
though many Canadian farmers prefer the big Clydes- 
dales. Carriage horses will be chosen for swiftness 



A FAITHFUL SERVANT 243 

rather than strength. Boys and girls will think a 
pony is more desirable than any horse ever seen, 
and the little Shetland, strong, hardy, and patient, 
makes a splendid pet. 

The Iceland pony is not so well known in our 
country as the Shetland, but he is a useful and 
sturdy animal, well fitted to live in his cold home. 
The hairy tail of the Iceland pony shows one of 
the ways in which our Father fits his creatures for 
their own place. You have noticed in pictures that 
these ponies have tails from which the hair grows 
quite to the top. Did you think this was a mere 
oddity? It is much more; it is a part of God's 
plan for the comfort of this patient little horse, 
whose days must often be spent in the cold and 
snow. When the wind blows and drives the snow 
before it, the pony turns his back on the icy blast. 
The hair of his tail spreads out like a fan. The 
snow soon tangles in it. Do you think this must 
be very cold and disagreeable? Quite the contrary! 
The coat of snow, caught in the hairy tail, makes 
a good screen that serves to keep the pony warm. 
If the snow were to blow under the tail, it would 
melt and run down the pony's legs and presently, 
when the melted snow froze, the poor little animal 
would be most uncomfortable. Such a bushy tail 
is as useful to the pony as is the queer flat tail 
to the beaver, is it not? Do you not think the 
plans God has made for his creatures to live com- 
fortably and conveniently, each in the place where 
he has been put, are very wonderful? 

It would not be quite fair to close the story of 
the horse's service to man before we talk for a 
minute of the help that has been given to making 



244 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

people well by our good four-footed friend. Part 
of the story you can find out for yourself by asking 
your doctor or nurse friend to tell you how the 
surgeon uses horse hair in his work. This is such 
an important part of the horse's gifts to man that 
I am sure you will think it quite enough. But 
even this does not tell all the story. 

You remember how well dogs served in getting 
the diphtheria serum to Nome. Horses never 
could have made that terrible journey, and had 
it not been for the faithful dogs, most of the sick 
people in the cold north would have died. Yet, 
if it had not been for horses, the journey would 
never have been made. 

Do you ask how this can be? It is because the 
horse, with his great strength, and his fine, clean 
blood, is of use in making the medicine that kills 
the deadly diphtheria germ. It costs the horse 
little or nothing to give up a few drops of his blood > 
from which in his laboratory the doctor makes the 
anti- toxin that saves lives. But this is just what 
happens. The horse has already saved thousands 
of lives in this way, and he doubtless will save 
thousands more in the years to come. Do you 
not agree that the debt we owe the horse is a very 
big one? When you look at a horse, you will think 
of what he has done for man, and feel very grate- 
ful to this four-footed friend that the heavenly 
Father has given you. 

Something to do: 

1. Read the poem, "Sheridan's Ride." 

2. Illustrate the nursery rime, / had a little pony, ancj 



A FAITHFUL SERVANT 245 

use the finished work as a gift to a little sick or shut-in 
child. 

3. Mount a small reproduction of "The Horse Fair" 
(Rosa Bonheur) for your notebook. If possible, you and 
your classmates should buy a large copy of this picture 
to hang on your schoolroom wall. Learn the story of 
the painter of this picture. Find out if she painted any 
other pictures of horses or of animals. 

4. Make a collection of pictures of horses. Write an 
imaginary story about the picture you like best. 

5. How did the coming of horses to this country change 
the history of the United States? Perhaps you cannot 
give all of the answer at once, but do not be discouraged. 
Ask your teacher about it, and read in your histories. 
Use your imagination and then prove your ideas to be 
right or Wrong by looking up the facts in books in the 
library. 

6. Find in a magazine or storybook a good tale of a 
horse, and learn to tell it to the class. 

To learn: Proverbs 21. 31. 
To read: Job 39. 19-25. 



LESSON XXV 
WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 

I 
Whatsoever ye do, work heartily. Colossians 3. 23. 

"WHEW! but I'm tired!" cried Don, throwing 
himself down in the swing couch on the shady 
porch. 

"No wonder!" smiled father. "You have been 
as busy as a beaver all day." 

"Why do people so often say 'busy as a beaver'?" 
asked Don. "Do beavers work more or harder 
than other animals?" 

"You would think so," replied father, "if you 
could watch them in the busy season, when they 
are building their houses and dams, digging their 
canals, and laying in the supply of food for winter." 

"What is their winter food?" inquired Don, 
with interest. "I supposed they ate fish and such 
things; they surely do not store those." 

"Certainly not!" agreed father. "Beavers are 
vegetarians, and live on the bark of aspens, cotton- 
woods, willows, and birches. In the summer, water 
grasses, rushes, and the roots and stems of water 
lilies are eaten. Beavers will not often cut hard 
woods like maple and ash, unless a scarcity of food 
compels them to do so." 

"But I do not see, father," protested Ruth, "how 
beavers can cut trees. Doctor Cookman showed 
me a stuffed beaver at the museum; it was just 

246 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 2 4 7 

about this long," and Ruth measured off with her 
hands a distance of a little more than three feet. 

"That is about average size for a three-year-old 
beaver," agreed father. "But tell me, did you 
notice the mouth?" 

"Oh, father," cried Ruth, "it is the queerest 
mouth! It shuts up and down, instead of across, 
and behind the teeth instead of in front of them!" 

"Good for you, Ruth!" cried father. "That is 
a fine description. Now tell me about the teeth." 

"There are two on each jaw, quite long," answered 
Ruth promptly, "and they look very sharp, almost 
like chisels." 

"Do not be surprised," said father, "when I 
tell you that these teeth are the tools the beaver 
uses to cut trees. An old beaver will work so busily 
that in a single night he will fell a tree three or four 
inches across, cut it into sections of four to eight 
feet each, and drag them to the water. Do you won- 
der that people speak of 'working like a beaver,'Don?" 

"But I do not understand yet, father," said 
Ruth, "how the beavers cut trees down, even with 
those sharp teeth." 

"Sometimes," answered father, "several beavers 
work on the same tree. More often each works 
independently. Each stands on the hind legs, 
balances the body with the big flat tail, and cuts 
out pieces of wood, perhaps throwing the head 
back, or perhaps tilting it to one side, and splitting 
out the chips in this fashion. Beavers show much 
intelligence in selecting the trees to be cut. They 
seldom go more than fifty or sixty yards inland, 
and they have been known to pass by trees that 
were sure to fall into other trees and so get tangled 



248 ' OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

in the branches, for trees that stood in open places. 
Another reason for the choice of trees that grow 
near the water may be that the beaver moves 
slowly and clumsily on land. One can be easily 
overtaken by a person. The beaver seems to know 
this, and to keep close enough to the water to be 
able to reach it quickly in time of need, or in case 
of pursuit." 

"What sort of homes do beavers have?" asked 
Don. 

"Beavers build a house, often starting it from 
the bottom of a pond," answered father, "by 
piling up sticks and mud for five or six feet till the 
water level is reached. Then still more sticks, 
stones, and mud are added, till a living room big 
enough for the beaver family is completed. It 
looks somewhat like a rounded oven, and may be 
rather rough and open at first. Long before winter 
comes, and the first frost is felt, the walls will be 
made thick and strong. Sometimes the walls will 
be three or four feet thick. Sticks are laid over 
the outside in every direction, and when mud and 
sod are plastered over all of these you can guess 
how firm the whole thing must be." 

"How does the inside look?" asked Ruth, who 
had been listening with much interest. 

"The inside is a rounded chamber, possibly six 
to eight feet across and three feet high. The sticks 
have been gnawed off on the inside so that a 
smooth wall is made. A bed of grass, leaves, or 
the chewed-up wood is made a little distance above 
the water level, and quite near to the water hole." 

"Do you mean a sort of drinking fountain, father?" 
asked Don. 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 



249 



"No, no," laughed father. "It is a safety door, 
to get in or go out, in times of danger. All beaver 
houses have one, and perhaps two such holes; they 
come out under the bottom edge of the houses, 
perhaps thirty-five or forty feet away. If some- 
thing frightens the beaver when he is at home, 




(Copied by E. L. Howe by permission of 
Nature Magazine) 



Painted by R. Bruce Horsefall for Nature 
Magazine, April, 1925 



THE AMERICAN BEAVER 

he dives down through one of these holes, and may 
next be seen a half or a quarter of a mile away." 

"Then a beaver must swim well under water," 
said Ruth. 

"Yes, indeed!" agreed father. "They have been 
known to stay under water for fifteen minutes, 
though this is not at all usual. Three or four 
minutes is the rule." 



250 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"I wish I could stay under water as long as 
that!" sighed Don. 

"You could if you were as well fitted to do so 
as is the beaver," laughed father. "The beaver's 
nostrils close up under water. His ears are fur- 
lined, and also close under water. Because of the 
'queer' mouth which Ruth mentioned a few minutes 
ago, shutting behind the long teeth, water does 
not get in when the animal is getting roots or sticks 
below the surface. He can use his small front 
feet for hands, since he must do all his swimming 
with his large webbed hind feet." 

"I think the beaver's tail is about as queer as 
his mouth," said Ruth. 

"I agree with you," said father. "If you knew 
nothing about the beaver's life, you might almost 
be ready to say that tail is a mistake, when, actu- 
ally, it is a most useful member!" 

"What is it like?" asked Don. "You know I did 
not see the beaver, as I could not go with the class 
the other day." 

"It is broad and flat," answered Ruth, "and 
there is no fur on it. There are queer wrinkles in 
it that make it look at a little distance as if it might 
be covered with scales. How is such a strange 
tail used?" 

"In the first place," answered father, "that tail 
is used as a balance. Can you not see how it must 
help the animal to stand when he is raising himself 
on his hind legs to cut a tree? Or picture one 
coming from the bottom of the pond with his fore- 
arms full of mud and stone which he is to carry 
to the top of his house; how that tail will help to 
keep him from tumbling over!" 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 251 

"Of course!" cried Don. "What else, father?" 

"Perhaps the second thing of importance is that 
it serves as a danger signal. Beavers are always 
on the alert for danger, and at the first sign, they 
take to the water. As they reach it, the big flat 
tail comes down on the surface with a slap that 
can be heard for a long distance. Every beaver 
within hearing at once heeds this signal, hurries 
to the water, and in turn gives his signal of warning." 

"I like that tale of a tail, father," twinkled Ruth, 
"and I won't call it a queer tail again." 

"But that is not all," father went on. "Beavers 
often need to float the trees that they cut for some 
distance down the stream to their houses or dams. 
Imagine them tugging at the end of the log and 
trying to guide it. How do you suppose they ever 
keep from going around in circles?" 

"I kept my boat straight by the rudder," said 
Don, slowly, "when I was on the pond last year. 
The beaver must need a rudder too. Oh, I see, 
father! This queer tail is his rudder!" 

"Exactly!" agreed father. "In addition, many 
people who have had the chance to study the 
beaver closely think he uses his tail as a propeller 
when swimming. He swims very fast, and seems 
to use both body and tail. You see, it is not very 
safe to make too quick judgments on the value 
or usefulness of a member merely on the ground of 
its appearance!" 

"Why do beavers build dams?" asked Don. 

"Beavers are very dependent on water," answered 
father. "They are so much at home in it that they 
are more water than land animals. It is in the 
water that they are safe from most of their enemies, 



252 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

and so they build dams across shallow streams to 
make the water deep enough to protect their 
houses." 

"Do they make the dam in the same way as 
they make their houses?" asked Ruth. 

"Yes, much the same fashion," replied father. 
"They work from the upstream side, and begin 
by floating down sticks and branches of trees 
Then they add grass, mud, stones, and such 
material. Soon the water is checked in its flow 
and begins to rise. Then the beavers permit the 
sticks to fall over the top, and lie crisscross on 
the lower side, where they add more mud to hold 
it fast. So the dam grows, till it is high enough 
and strong enough to stand floods and to make the 
water supply secure. If a leak comes in any spot, 
the beavers repair it very quickly. Some of the 
big dams are very old and have been made by 
many beavers working through a long period of 
years, though the dams are still strong. Beavers 
are very good engineers indeed." 

"I should think beavers would need to wear water- 
proof suits if they are to live and work under water 
so much," laughed Ruth. 

"That is exactly the sort of suit our wise heavenly 
Father has given the beaver," said father. "The 
soft fur such as trims your winter coat is the under- 
coat, and is waterproof. The outer hairs are called 
the guard hairs. They are coarse and generally 
of a dull brown. But the beavers keep them in 
excellent order by using the curious combing claw 
that grows on the two inner toes of each hind foot." 

"That is better than having a vanity comb in 
your pocket," chuckled Don. 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 253 

"The beaver is not a vain animal," replied father, 
"but he is a very neat one. His house is always 
well kept and clean. Some observers have written 
of the insects that make their home in the beaver's 
fur, but our government experts tell us that the 
animal is remarkably free from all such parasites. 
I suspect that his love of cold water makes him 
both healthy and clean." 

"Same with boys!" grinned Don. "Do you 
suppose beavers get as much fun from their swim- 
ming as we fellows do?" 

"I am sure of it!" replied father. "I have hidden 
myself near a beaver colony and watched them for 
hours at a time, through a period of several weeks. 
The older members of the colony apparently wander 
off during the summer months. I have wondered 
if they did not go exploring, looking for good places 
to found new colonies when the food supply of 
aspens runs low where they are located. The 
young beavers, and sometimes the whole colony, 
play like a group of lively boys and girls. The 
youngsters push each other into the water, dive, 
race, wrestle, and make merry generally. But you 
should see the beavers at work, if you would know 
what it means to be busy." 

"Tell us, tell us, father," urged Ruth. 

"Beavers do not work in the hustling, bustling 
fashion that men so often follow," said father. 
"When they are getting ready for winter, though, 
they work both hard and steadily, but without 
confusion. A number may be busy gnawing down 
aspens. Others will spread mud over the tops of 
the houses, so that when it freezes not even a bear 
can break through. Perhaps still others may be 



254 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

cutting the felled trees into sections that can be 
floated down to the food pile, of to the dam, where 
another group of beavers may be strengthening the 
work to stand the floods that may come. Every 
one will be working steadily and with no hurry, 
but with quite an evident plan in mind." 

"Do you suppose they have a leader, a sort of 
'boss'?" asked Don. 

"How I wish I could answer that to my own 
satisfaction!" cried father. "I have watched closely 
to discover any such leader, and have never seen 
anything to prove that one beaver more than 
another is head or chief, but the animals are so 
shy, it is difficult to get near enough to them to 
make sure of all that goes on. Perhaps you will 
some day have the opportunity to study them for 
yourself, and take pictures of them with a long- 
distance camera. You may be able to add a great 
deal to our knowledge of these interesting creatures, 
that have played so large a part in the history of 
our country." 

"What do you mean, father?" queried Don, who 
was just beginning to show much interest in Amer- 
ican history. 

"That is another long story, for which we have 
no time just now. Look it up in your books, and 
we will talk of it later." 

"Tell me something to find out, father!" begged 
Ruth. 

"See if you can discover any useful part the 
beaver plays beyond furnishing you with a pretty 
trimming for your winter coat!" said father, with 
a merry twinkle in his eye that sent Ruth away 
thinking. 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 255 

Something to do: 

1. Canada has chosen the beaver as its national em- 
blem. Why did it so decide? 

2. Trace an outline map of the United States, and 
pencil lightly over that part where beavers once lived 
when the country was first colonized. Using a red or 
blue pencil, trace over the parts where beavers may 
now be found. 

3. Write to the United States Department of Agri- 
culture, at Washington, D. C., for Bulletin 1078, which 
tells of the beaver habits, control, and farming. You 
will find many interesting facts about these animals 
in this little pamphlet. It is free. 

4. Read Longfellow's poem "Hiawatha," and get the 
story of the beaver as it is told there. Do you agree 
with the ideas about the beaver that you find in the 
poem? 

5. Find and read one or more stories about beavers, 
in books written by Mr. E. A. Mills, or in the Nature 
Magazine. 

6. Write at least three ways of living or working that 
beavers follow which may be well copied by boys and 
girls. 

To learn: Romans 12. n. 



LESSON XXVI 

WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 

II 

"ARE you ready?" asked father, with a smile 
at the eager faces of the two children before him. 
"Full speed ahead, Don!" 

"I found so many new facts that I do not know 
where to begin in my story of the beaver as a his- 
tory maker," began Don. "In the first place, 
beavers used to be quite common in Europe. But 
about the time that the New World was being 
explored, European beavers were getting very scarce, 
as they had been so trapped and killed for their 
fur, that few were left. When then it was found 
that beavers lived in large numbers in almost all 
of North America north of Mexico, I suppose those 
old trappers thought they had struck a regular 
gold mine in the way of fur!" 

"But, Don, 'almost all of North America'!" 
cried Ruth, who was looking at a map in an open 
book. "Are beavers found in our country any- 
where except in the Rockies and the Adirondacks?" 

"Not now, to any extent, at least," replied Don, 
"but there was a time when they were spread over 
most of the country. Quite a number are still found 
in Canada. My book says they were found wher- 
ever the aspen grew, and that was the most widely 
distributed tree in North America." 

"What happened to drive them out?" queried 
Ruth. 

256 



WORKING LIKE -BEAVERS 257 

"That is a part of my story," answered Don. 
"The French tried hard to get the control of the 
entire fur trade so that they could do as they pleased 
and get all the .money. The books tell of one 
^rant' after another. Of course the English did 
not like the idea of letting the French have it all, 
and made plans to get their share. There were all 
sorts of quarrels between the fur traders. Many 
times a trader, or a company of traders, would load 
one or more ships with fine furs to take back to 
his homeland, and before he reached the other 
side, a ship of the rival country, or perhaps a pirate 
ship manned by fellow countrymen, would fall upon 
him, and rob him of all his furs; on one excuse or 
another. That was hard on the owner, but it was 
hardest of all on the beavers, which were being 
killed off in great numbers." 

"Of course people were not thinking of the matter 
from the beaver's point of view," said father, "and it 
seemed quite unlikely that the end of the fur supply 
should ever be reached." 

Don nodded. 

"There was another interesting side of it, too," 
he added. "The trapper was often the first man 
in the new country. Of course he needed a point 
at which he could get food, or a place to go for 
safety, or to trade his furs. So posts were estab- 
lished for this. Sometimes they were not much 
more than a little cluster of huts. Often a fort 
was built for protection. But nearly every city 
in the Saint Lawrence and Mississippi valleys and 
many in the eastern part of the country were once 
built as a part of the big fur trade business that 
was going on in those early days." 



258 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Quite right!" agreed father. 

"The thing which I thought the very queerest 
of all was the part fashion has had in driving the 
beaver out," added Don. 

"Do you mean the style of wearing beaver fur 
for trimming?" asked Ruth. 

"That, of course, was the first thing," answered 
Don. "All through the days of exploring, the 
beaver's fine coat made him a hunted creature. 
But after England and France had settled the 
question of who should rule Canada, after the 
beaver had been pretty well driven to living in the 
wilder parts of northern United States and the 
Rockies, American men began to follow the funny 
style of wearing tall beaver hats. No man thought 
he was well dressed if he did not have one." 

"I remember very well seeing my grandfather 
wearing such a hat," smiled father. "If someone 
had not invented a way of making tall hats out of 
silk, and if the fashion had not changed, the beaver 
might be even harder to find than is now the case." 

"What makes me most indignant," went on Don, 
"is that trappers later used dynamite, and blew up 
whole colonies of beavers. I think that is not being 
a good sport; it is not giving the poor animal a 
chance for his life." 

"You are right," agreed father, "and the govern- 
ment thinks as you do, and forbids such measures 
now. It is illegal to take beavers at all in certain 
seasons, and we are trying at last to protect and 
save them." 

"We ought to save them," said Ruth, so earnestly 
that Don could not help smiling. "They are just 
about the best neighbors one could wish." 



II' 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 259 

'Tell us about it, daughter," said father. 

'This is about some Colorado beavers," returned 
Ruth. "A farmer in that State had a dry ranch, 
and from the little creek he could get just about 
enough water for a small garden. Then some 
beavers built on his creek, and by making a dam, 
saved the tiny trickle of water. The farmer would 
not permit a single beaver to be harmed. So the 
colony grew, and pretty soon the farmer had water 
enough for ten times as much land as there was in 
his little garden." 

"Hurrah for the beavers!" cried Don. "But 
weren't their plans all spoiled when the farmer 
took their water supply?" 

"No, indeed!" said Ruth. "They build up the 
dam as soon as they find it broken, and in a little 
time there is another water supply stored for them. 
More than one farmer in Colorado, so my mag- 
azine says, is making use of beaver dams in this 
way." 

"It must save the farmers a great deal of money," 
said father. 

"It does," returned Ruth. "Wait a minute, and 
I will tell you how much. I was afraid I could not 
remember, so I wrote it down," and she gravely 
consulted a small notebook. "The farmers thought 
that each beaver in the colony saved water enough 
to have cost anywhere from five hundred to one 
thousand dollars. What do you think of that?" 

"That's great," cried father. 

"Besides all that," added Ruth, "the men did 
not have to build the big watering plants, nor did 
they need to keep them in repair, and they saved 
just hundreds of dollars in that way. The beaver 



260 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

needs nothing more expensive than sticks and mud, 
and when the dam breaks, he gets busy and mends 
it, sometimes almost too soon to suit the farmers 
who are thinking of their thirsty crops!" 

"A pretty useful neighbor, I think!" cried Don. 

"Yes, indeed!" said father. "But even this does 
not tell all the story of his service to man. You 
remember how the beaver dams are made?" 

"Yes, of willow and aspen sticks, and stones, 
and mud," responded Don, promptly. 

"You can see that, even when the dam is fresh 
and not yet tight enough to keep back all the 
water, it must check the flow, and make the 
stream run more slowly. What must happen then 
to the fine soil that is carried in the water?" 

"Why, I suppose it must settle," said Don, slowly. 

"Quite right!" agreed father. In this way, 
'beaver meadows' are made. Of course the willows 
that are used in building the dam often begin to 
grow, and their roots help to bind the soil still 
more firmly. Generally the fine earth carried by 
the stream is very rich, and gradually a productive 
valley, a fine farm, or the place for a splendid 
orchard comes from the beaver meadow. E. A. 
Mills, a man who has studied beavers for a long 
time, declares that thousands of square miles of 
land have been covered in this way." 

"Beavers sometimes do a little harm," said Ruth, 
"by making use of railroad culverts. Doctor Cook- 
man showed me a picture of .one such bridge where 
the railroad company had to keep an iron ladder 
on the spot for the use of the men who go every 
few days to take away the sticks and the stones 
that the beavers pile against it. If the water gets 



WORKING LIKE BEAVERS 261 



too high, it may wash away the track, or make it 
so soft that the trains cannot run on it safely." 

"But aren't they the clever little animals to make 
use of what they find?" asked Don, admiringly. 

"They surely show a great deal of intelligence," 
agreed father. 

"Sometimes people get out of patience with them 
because their dams flood good camping sites, and 
the water kills the trees," added Ruth, "but Doctor 
Cookman says the government sends out instruc- 
tions as to how to drain these dams so as to save 
the trees and yet not harm the beavers." 

"Oh, that's good!" cried Don. 

"It is just because the beaver is so useful that 
the government makes such a careful study of him, 
and of his ways and his needs," said father. "There 
is no doubt that the beaver helps in flood control. 
He builds, not only one, but often two or three or 
four dams across a stream. Suppose, now, that 
somewhere in the upper part of the* stream the 
trees have been burned or cut off. There is then 
little or no protection when the snows begin to 
melt. A heavy rain storm, too, would run off very 
fast. The stream will fill quickly. But when the 
water reaches the first dam, its flow is checked a 
little, and by the time it passes over the last dam, 
it has been so slowed up that the harm it does is 
slight." 

"Hurrah for the beaver, I say again!" cried Don. 
"I think he is just about the most useful neighbor 
and helper we have found! I mean to do all I can 
to keep him happy and at home!" 

"I quite agree with you!" said father. "The 
beaver is a useful and industrious citizen. He 



262 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

lives in peace. He works hard and quietly. He 
plays hard too. He makes the best of things as 
he finds them, and he adds not a little, by his quiet 
work, to the beauty and usefulness of the world." 

" 'Whatsoever thy hands find to do,' that seems 
to be his rule," said Ruth. "I think I'll be a beaver, 
and do my full share of the garden weeding and 
watering, after this, Don!" 

Something to do : 

1 . Look up an article published in the Saturday Evening 
Post, May i, 1926, concerning the fur trade in Alaska, 
and learn what you can about beavers. 

2. Ask someone to help you find out what Parkman 
wrote about the beaver fur trade, and its effect on the 
settlement and the history of the United States. 

3. Imagine yourself a beaver who is well acquainted 
with the history of his family and their work for a long 
time. Tell the class the story of what your (beaver) 
people have done for the United States. You may tell 
of. land formed for farms and orchards, of .water stored 
up for dry times, of ideas of dams given to men, or of 
food or warm clothing that saved them from cold and 
hunger. 

4. Read Mr. Mills' In Beaver World, and, in the words 
of a young beaver, tell the story his grandfather told 
him (you!) about going from a wrecked home to a new 
colony; of the dangers encountered, and the adventures 
of the trip. 

5. Write, in one or two sentences, the things about 
the beaver that you like best. 

To learn: Romans 14. 7. 

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy 
might. Ecclesiastes 9. 19, 



LESSON XXVII 

SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 

I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and 
mine own know me. John 10. 14. 

LONG, long ago, so long ago indeed that we can 
only guess about it, a man, feeling very hungry 
himself, and thinking, too, of his hungry family in 
the mountain cave which was their home, captured 
and killed a wild sheep, and carried it to his dwell- 
ing place on his shoulder. With a stone knife he 
cut off the skin, and his wife cooked the juicy meat 
on the fire that burned before the cave, or on the 
rude earth floor. Everyone had a fine feast. The 
man used the rough skin for a coat, and very warm 
and comfortable he found it. Quite possibly the 
children crept under it when they went to sleep 
at night, and thought it the cosiest covering they 
had. No doubt the cave wife liked the warm skin 
as a rug in her cold cave, though she probably cared 
more for the rich meat of the animal, which had 
tasted so good. Perhaps she urged her husband 
to hunt for more animals of the same kind; and he 
learned to be very cunning in stalking and captur- 
ing the strong and clever mountain sheep that 
could run so fast and jump so far and so surely. 

We cannot be perfectly sure about any of the 
early beginnings, but it seems quite likely that man 
first learned in some such way as this of the value 
of sheep to him, and it is almost sure that he first 

263 



264 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

hunted the creatures for the sake of the food value, 
and that he used their skins as clothing as a second 
thought. 

But when you think of the skins of these long- 
ago sheep you must not picture to yourself a thick, 
white woolly coat, such as you have seen on the 
sheep of to-day in a farmer's pasture, or on a great 
Western sheep range. Those first wild sheep prob- 
ably looked much like the wild sheep that may 
still be found in certain parts of the world. 
Some day you may have the good fortune to see 
one of our Rocky Mountain sheep, and you will 
know then how the cave man's sheep looked. Till 
you can see a wild sheep for yourself, you may 
content yourself with a description of them, and 
you will find such a word picture in a book written 
by Mr. E. A. Mills, who has made a careful study 
of these interesting animals. 

Another good description of the wild sheep is to 
be found in John Muir's book called Steep Trails. 
The first chapter tells of the hairy coat of the 
wild sheep, so different from the soft, woolly cov- 
ering of our tame animal. The wild sheep's coat 
is not unlike that of the beaver in this way, that 
the undercovering is protected with light, elastic, 
shining hairs that make a splendid overcoat, an 
overcoat that will not tangle or mat, and that will 
very easily keep beautifully clean. 

You may have seen a flock of our tame sheep 
some time after they have been shorn, when the 
wool has had time to grow long. You have noted 
how tangled and matted the thick fleece becomes, 
and how dust and dirt have worked into the oily 
mass, till the sheep is no longer white, but a dirty 



SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 265 

gray. The wild sheep do not have this incon- 
venient and uncomfortable coat. The coat they 
wear was planned by the heavenly Father, in his 
wisdom, to exactly suit the places and the con- 
ditions in which the sheep were to live. 

Do you ask how the tame sheep's coat came to 
be so changed? It came about slowly, largely 
through man's care. You would like to know 
exactly how man began to tame sheep for his own 
use, and so would we all; but we can imagine how 
it came about. Perhaps some hunter found a little 
lamb that had lost its mother, and he took it home 
to the children. Perhaps a sheep was wounded 
but not killed, and the cave man began his taming 
process when the sheep recovered under his care. 
It would not take man very long to find out that 
skins with the longest and thickest underhair make 
the warmest clothes. When he selected sheep to 
raise for clothing he would keep only those that 
had such thick coats, just as he would select the 
largest and heaviest sheep when he was choosing 
those that would make the best food. 

We can guess rather surely as to what animals 
man tamed, from the bones that are dug up in the 
places where it is known that man made his home 
in the very earliest times. It is these bones that 
make us sure that sheep were among the very first 
creatures that man selected for his flocks. Prob- 
ably, before this was done, more or less fixed places 
of living had been chosen. Perhaps rude houses 
had taken the place of caves as homes for people. 
The wanderings from place to place would be those 
that were necessary to find plenty of grass and 
good water for the sheep and cattle. 



266 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Gradually, as man began to care for sheep, their 
bodies and their coats changed. The light, stiff, 
shiny hairs of the outside coat little by little grew 
less common, and the thick undercoat grew thicker 
and longer, as only those sheep that had such coats 
were saved for breeding. As the wool increased in 
quantity and quality, more and more uses were 
found for it, and presently it became a very im- 
portant reason for keeping sheep, though it was 
not until rather recent times that people thought 
^more of the wool than of the mutton. The sheep 
as a food supply was long held in higher regard 
than as a source of wearing apparel. 

How many things of everyday use that are made 
from wool can you name? Just to mention the 
ordinary articles of common use will require several 
pages of your notebook. Ask mother why wool 
is used for so many things, and she will tell you 
it is because wool makes warm clothing, or because 
wool wears well. Why is wool warm, and why 
does it wear better than cotton? See if you can 
find out the reason for yourself. 

You will be surer of learning why wool is so 
useful if you can get a tuft directly from a fresh 
fleece, a tuft of wool that has never been spun or 
woven. If this is not possible, do the best you 
can with a bit of yarn, or the threads pulled from 
a rug, a blanket, or a piece of flannel. Wash the 
wool till it is free from oil and dust. When it is 
quite dry, pull it carefully apart, till you are able 
to look at each single little fiber. A magnifying 
glass will help you very much, as some of the facts 
you will wish to learn cannot be gained without one. 

It will not take you many minutes to discover 



SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 267 

that each tiny wool fiber is not a straight, smooth 
thread. Each is curled up like a wee spring. All 
your care will not make it smooth and straight. 

If the wool you are looking at is new, and if your 
microscope is strong enough, you will see that, in 
addition to being twisted like a spring, each fiber 
carries a number of tiny hooks or barbs. 

Try to twist a number of the fibers into a thread. 
You will see at once what must happen. All the 
little coils catch in one another. When you take 
the thread by the two ends and try to pull it apart, 
tKey do not slip readily. The tiny barbs help to 
hold too, 'and all of this makes a strong thread. 
But the coils do not allow the fibers to lie close 
together; air spaces are left between them. This 
makes a thread that, woven into cloth, gives a stuff 
that is warm as well as strong. 

If at the same time you are looking at the wool 
you will study cotton fibers, you will note a great 
difference between the two. Cotton fibers are much 
shorter than wool fibers. They are not barbed, 
and they are not twisted. It is possible to make 
thread from cotton that is almost as smooth as 
silk, but, partly because the fibers are not coiled 
and barbed, and more because they are so much 
shorter, cotton is not as strong and does not wear 
as well as wool. 

How do you suppose people first learned to twist 
wool fibers into thread and then to weave the 
threads into cloth? It would be a fascinating story 
if we could tell it. We do know what the very 
earliest spinning tools were, however. If you visit 
the Museum of Natural History in New York City 
some day, you may look at work baskets owned 



268 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

by Indian women many hundreds of years ago. 
In them are still the simple spinning tools that 
were used. 

Better than looking at these old baskets, you 
may make very good imitations of the old tools 
and spin a thread of wool for yourself! Find, if 
you can, a small stone, with a hole in the center. 
You can often pick up one on the beach. If you 
live far away from the seashore, you can make 
an empty spool serve your purpose fairly well, 
especially if you weight it slightly. This tool is 
called a whorl. You next should take a few fibers 
of the wool in your fingers and twist them a bit 
to start a thread. Fasten this to the whorl and 
let the weight of the whorl keep the thread twist- 
ing as you add more fibers. When you have made 
a few inches of thread, you will begin winding it 
on a spindle, which you may make from any small 
stick. A reed or a bit of wood slightly larger at 
the middle than at the ends is all that is needed, 
and the yarn is wound on it much as a boy winds 
his kite string. 

All our modern spinning machines that to-day 
run by steam or electricity are just improvements 
of this old hand method of making yarn from 
wool. At what time the art of spinning was learned 
we can only guess, but it was very, very long ago. 
Ages before Abraham, men had learned to value 
sheep highly, and they knew how to care well for 
them. 

Under the care of men, sheep changed in a way 
as marked as the changed coats they came to 
wear. For, as men took more and more care of 
their sheep, the sheep grew weaker and more de- 



SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 269 




270 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

pendent. They were less able to care for them- 
selves, less able to fight off their enemies. 

The best part of this side of the story is that 
men came to see how much the sheep needed tender 
and watchful care, and that the shepherds gave it 
in full measure. So unselfish did shepherds show 
themselves, and so wise and loving was the help 
they gave the sheep, that when Jesus wished to 
tell his followers how much he loved them, he found 
no better way of making them understand than to 
call himself the Good Shepherd. He said: "I am 
the good shepherd. I know my sheep. I call 
them all by name. My sheep, know me. They 
follow me. I go to hunt for even one lost lamb. 
I give my life for my sheep. The shepherd who 
is a hireling will not do this; it is only the true shep- 
herd who cares for his sheep in this way." 

Long before Jesus lived, a singer of Israel, David, 
the shepherd king, wrote what we have come to 
call the Shepherd Psalm. He gives a lovely picture 
of the faithful shepherd caring for his flock, and 
says that this is the way God cares for his people. 
Can you say from memory the twenty-third psalm? 

Another writer speaks of people who will not 
follow God's way as silly sheep who have gone 
astray, and followed their own way, not listening 
to the voice of the shepherd. Have you ever seen 
a flock of sheep that would not heed their master's 
command? Sometimes just one foolish sheep will 
start to do the wrong thing, to go the wrong way, 
to escape from the safe pasture, it may be, through 
a break. What do the other sheep do? One by 
one they follow the example of the first foolish 
sheep, and go wandering away; they go astray, 



SHEEP AND THEIR SHEPHERDS 271 

and they do not know enough to come back till 
the loving shepherd goes for them, and leads them 
all back to their proper fold. Who would choose 
to be a sheep that has gone away from the fold? 

The old Hebrews believed in a service of God 
that called for the sacrifice of lambs. When, after 
many years, Jesus came to show them, and to 
show the whole world through them, the way to 
God, he, like the lambs, gave his life to lead his 
followers closer to the heavenly Father, and because 
of this, as well as because of his gentleness and his 
obedience to his Father, we love to think of him 
as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of 
the world." This was what John called Jesus, 
when he saw him coming to the River Jordan for 
baptism. What other verses can you find which 
speak of Jesus as the Lamb of God? 

Something to do: 

1. Make a spindle and whorl. 

2. Wash a small quantity of wool, and, using spindle 
and whorl, make a thread of wool. 

3. Look up in your books how weaving is done. Make 
a small loom from a heavy cardboard or the cover of a 

. cigar box. String or warp your loom with cord, and 
weave a woolen rug for your doll house, or a mat for 
mother. 

4. Find a pretty picture of sheep. Mount it, and 
write your favorite verse from the Bible concerning 
sheep below the picture. 

5. In your notebook write the helps that sheep have 
given to men. Can you find ways of helping that are 
not mentioned in this book? 

6. Find in the Bible the story of a little lost sheep 
and the loving shepherd that went to find it. Talk 



272 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

over with your teacher the best way of telling this story. 
Perhaps you will decide that acting it out will be a very 
good way. Get ready to tell or act the story, and ask 
your mothers and friends to come to your class some 
day and hear it. 

To learn: Psalm 23; or John 10. 12-15. 
To read: "The Lamb," a poem by William Blake, be- 
ginning, "Little lamb, who made thee?" 



PART V 
THE EARTH AND ITS NEIGHBORS 



LESSON XXVIII 

SKYLAND AND CLOUDLAND 

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; 
Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; 
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; 
Who maketh the clouds his chariot; 
Who walketh upon the wings of the wind. 

Psalm 104. 2, 3. 

"An, there come the helpers who will bake our 
bread, cook our dinner, and clean our clothes!" 
cried father as he dropped the camp ax against 
the big pile of wood he and Don had just cut for 
the oven and the evening camp fire. 

"Where?" asked Don, eagerly looking up the 
trail that led into the camp. "I see no one coming." 

"Not that way," laughed father. "This way!" 
and he pointed to the sky. 

"What, coming by airplane?" queried Don in 
great surprise, as he craned his neck to scan the sky. 

"No, no, boy!" chuckled father. "I mean those 
big white clouds that are just beginning to show 
over the hill." 

"Now, father," objected Don, "you have told 
me plenty of wonder tales that I know are true, 
but I do not see how clouds can bake bread, or 
cook meals, though," he added more slowly, "they 
might help us clean our clothes." 

"I think I know what father means," said Ruth, 
from her seat on a big log, where she was busily 
stripping the outer husks from the roasting ears. 

275 



276 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"You are thinking of the big power houses we saw 
on our way up to these hills, aren't you, father, 
and of the electric oven and the electric washer 
at home?" 

"Of course!" cried Don. "The clouds will turn to 
rain, and the river will carry it down to the power 
plant. You did catch me napping that time, father." 

"How high are those clouds, father?" asked Ruth. 

Father looked up at the fleecy white clouds, 
piling higher and higher every minute. 

"They are cumulus clouds," replied father, "and 
are probably about a mile high. That is the aver- 
age height for that type of cloud. If they turn 
to cumulo-nimbus clouds, the form we sometimes 
speak of as a 'thunder-head,' they may grow till 
they are three miles from base to summit." 

"Oh, father, those big names!" cried Ruth. 

"Ho! those aren't hard words!" scoffed Don. 
"Not if you know Latin! 'Cumulus' means 'heap,' 
and I think it is just the name for those big, puffy 
clouds that look like heaps of white wool. And 
'nimbus' means it means father, I am afraid I 
have forgotten just what it does mean!" 

"Look off to the north," directed father. "That 
low dark cloud is a typical nimbus cloud. How 
does it look?" 

"Oh, it must be raining there!" cried Ruth. 
"You can see the long streaks from the bottom 
of the cloud." 

"Yes," agreed father, "it is raining, and that 
will help you to remember what 'nimbus' means 
'raincloud'; you see, it will not be hard at all." 

"I heard grandfather talk of a 'mackerel' sky. 
What does he mean by that, father?" asked Don, 



SKYLAND AND CLOUDLAND 277 

"Yes, and 'mares' tails,' too," added Ruth. "I 
think that is a funny cloud name." 

"There are no clouds of that kind in the sky 
to-day," said father, "but I am sure I can explain 
so you will understand. Have you ever seen thin, 
feathery bands of cloud floating in the sky?" 

"Oh, yes," cried Ruth. "They were all spread 
out like little bits of wool, or like flying hair." 

"Exactly!" said father. "Those are cirrus clouds, 
and 'cirrus' is another Latin word meaning 'tuft' 
or 'ringlet.' The cirrus clouds are much higher, 
usually, than the cumulus clouds. They are gen- 
erally as high as the top of Mount Everest." 

"Five miles!" exclaimed Don, recalling his geog- 
raphy very promptly. 

"Yes, just about that," agreed father. "When 
such clouds spread out in bands they are often 
spoken of as 'mares' tails,' because, as you suggest, 
they look like masses of flying hair. They are 
formed of ice-crystals, and when the light of sun 
or moon shines through them they make 'rings' 
or 'halos.' The 'mackerel' sky is often a combina- 
tion of cirrus and cumulus clouds, and generally 
comes in fine weather. The mackerel sky will 
show all sorts of lovely cloud formations, and may 
cover a large part of the sky with the clouds in 
orderly ranks and rows." 

"But the cumulus clouds make the prettiest 
sky pictures," said Ruth. 

"Cirrus for me," said Don, decidedly, "especially 
when they are all pink and yellow and violet at 
sunset." 

"Father, why are some clouds pink, and some 
violet, while others are white?" asked Ruth, 



278 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"It is all due to another skyland helper of which 
we seldom think," answered father. "It is the 
dust in the air that gives the clouds their color." 

"Do you mean the dust is colored?" asked Ruth, 
puzzled. 

"No, no, not that," smiled father. "I mean 
that the tiny particles of dust in the air break up 
the light rays and scatter them, and that gives 
the lovely colors we enjoy so much. The reds of 
a brilliant sunset just mean that the rays have to 
struggle through denser, closer air, and that the 
long red rays of light are sifted out of the other 
rays." 

"My professor at the school says that dust makes 
the sky blue. Is that true, father?" asked Don. 

"Yes," answered father. "If there were no dust 
particles in the air, the sky would look nearly as 
black as it does at night, and the sun and the stars 
would shine so brightly that we would be glad to 
shield our eyes from the glare." 

"Who ever supposed that dust was a helper?" 
mused Ruth. 

"I have not yet told you of another very im- 
portant way in which dust helps," said father. 
"Some wise men made certain interesting experi- 
ments a number of years ago, and they proved that 
dews, fogs, and gentle rains are the rule rather than 
floods and torrents, just because of dust. Each 
little particle of dust becomes a core or center 
around which a drop of water vapor condenses 
or turns back to its water form. They tell us that 
if there were no dust at all in the air, the earth 
might even become so barren we cpulcl not live 
PJUt," 



SKYLAND AND CLOUDLAND 279 

Don looked startled. "Is there any danger of 
that?" he asked. "Where does the dust come 
from?" 

"From a great many sources," answered father. 
"Salt is blown from the ocean spray; sand is blown 
from the desert; meteorites that come our way 
help too. Ashes from volcanoes supply dust also. 
When a huge volcano near Java was active, it was 
figured that a vast amount of dust was thrown 
off in an eruption; some of it must have traveled 
around the earth three times before it finally dis- 
appeared, and for about 'three years, the sunsets 
in the temperate regions, where the dust was found, 
were wonderful in color." 

"The dust from city streets counts, too, I sup- 
pose," said Don. 

"Yes, and the soot from factories, as well as the 
dust rising from plowed fields. Even the flowers 
add their bit, through the pollen which the wind 
scatters," said father. 

"Then we must count the wind as another helper," 
said Don. 

"Of course," said Ruth. "The wind heaps up 
the clouds and gives them their lovely shape, 
doesn't it, father?" 

"The wind helps to form the clouds," agreed 
father, "but there are many other causes for cloud 
formation, as there are many other cloud forms 
than those we have talked of; it is not easy to 
explain why clouds take the shapes they do. The 
wind has its part to play, though, or we should 
have no rains on the land." 

"What is the difference between a fog and a 
cloud, father?" asked Ruth. 



2 8o OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"A fog is just a low cloud, one that rests oft of 
near the earth," replied father. "The warm air 
from the land blows over the sea and becomes 
chilled. Then the water vapor that is in the air 
turns back to its water form, or condenses, as we 
say, and shows as fog. The clouds in the sky 
show because the water vapor has turned back to 
its water form high above the earth, when it met a 
cool layer of air." 

"But if the water vapor turns back to its water 
form, why does it not fall as rain?" queried Don. 

"The water in fog of clouds," replied father, 
"is in such tiny drops that it is more correct to 
think of them as droplets. You have seen the 
steam form in wee drops on a cold window pane, 
have you not?" 

"Oh, yes, father," cried Ruth, "and when there 
was ever so much of it, the tiny drops ran into 
one another, and made streams of water down 
the glass." 

"That is very much the same as happens in the 
clouds. In summer we get rain. In winter when 
the change to the water form takes place below 
freezing point, we get sleet or snow from the clouds, 
and frost on the ground instead of dew." 

"And hail?" asked Ruth. "It hails in summer." 

"Hail is generally rain that froze," said father. 
"Large hailstones seem to be made up of layers. 
Probably the hail stones have been carried up and 
down by different currents of air, and have so had 
one layer after another added to them." 

"I don't believe we can call hail a helper," said 
Ruth, doubtfully. "Doesn't it often hurt crops?" 

"Sometimes it does cut and injure grain," said 



SKYLAND AND CLOUDLAND 281 

father, "but this does not happen so very often. 
Probably the hail helps more than it harms, and 
if we cannot quite understand it, we can remember 
what the psalmist wrote about all these helpers 

'Praise Jehovah from the earth, . . . 
Fire and hail, snow and vapor, 
Stormy wind, fulfilling his word.' " 

"Oh, that's a lovely verse, father!" cried Ruth. 
"Are there any more verses in the Bible about 
our helpers?" 

"Yes, indeed!" replied father. "You may look 
for them to-night, but I will give you one more now: 

'I know that Jehovah is great, . . . 
Who causeth the vapors to ascend from the earth; 
... In the seas and in all deeps; 
Who maketh lightnings for the rain; 
Who bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries.' " 

"We must learn them, Ruth," said Don, "and 
then I mean to write them under my cloud pic- 
tures in our 'Good Times Book' when we get home." 

"That will be fine," said father, "and you will 
have a good time hunting out other verses too. 
There are some grand descriptions of clouds and 
storms in the Bible!" 

Something to do: 

1. Find or draw pictures, or take photographs, of 
clouds of different shapes. Mount them and write the 
name of each under the picture. 

2. Find a poem called "The Cloud," written by Percy 
B. Shelley. Learn to read it well. Note the lovely pic- 



282 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

tures that the poem makes. Draw, paint, or collect 
pictures to illustrate the poem. 

3. Watch the sunset sky for several nights. Then 
try to make a sunset picture for yourself, either using 
water color paints or crayola. You may draw your own 
sky, color a black-and-white print, or tint a photograph. 
Put your color on daintily, and suggest the glow; do not 
try to get it as strong as the real color. Try again and 
again. You will not be satisfied with what you do, but 
the trying will help you to see the lovely colors and to 
remember them. 

4. Find and ask your mother or teacher to read to 
you Carl Sandburg's poem called "Fog," C. G. Rosetti's 
poem called "Boats Sail on the Rivers," and "April 
Rain," by Robert Loveman. Which of these poems do 
you like best? Can you find a poem you like much 
better? Try to write a rhyme about one of the helpers 
we have talked about in this lesson. 

5. Find a beautiful Bible poem about clouds, wind, 
or the sky. There is one in Job, and more than one in 
the book of Psalms. 

To learn: Psalm 148. 7-10; or Job 37. 9-11. 

To read: "Who Has Seen the Wind," a poem by C. G. 
Rosetti; or "I Saw You Toss the Kite on High," by 
R. L. Stevenson. 



LESSON XXIX 
NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 

"THE very best part of our camping trip," said 
Ruth, as she pasted the last photograph in the 
"Good Times Book," "was sleeping on the desert. 
The air was so balmy, and the stars were so clear. 
They looked almost near enough to touch. Why 
did they seem so near, father?" 

"I suspect," answered father, "that it was be- 
cause we were far from the city dust and smoke, 
and there was less to shut the stars away from our 
vision." 

"The shooting stars were great," added Don. 
"I felt as if I were looking at some exhibition of 
fireworks. I am sorry I did not count them, but 
I never saw so many in all my life before as I did 
that one night." 

"Jupiter was the biggest star in the sky," said 
Ruth. "Wasn't he bright that evening?" 

"Father," said Don, teasingly, "won't you please 
explain to Ruth that Jupiter is a planet and not 
a star?" 

"I ought to explain to you, Don," replied father 
with a twinkle, "that there are no shooting stars." 

"Why, father!" exclaimed Don. "You saw them 
yourself, and talked about them too." 

"I saw," replied father, "what people commonly 
refer to as 'shooting stars,' but they are not really 
stars at all. Astronomers call them meteors, which 
just means masses of stone, iron, or other metals. 

283 



284 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Such a mass enters our atmosphere, breaking every 
speed law that man has thought of. It travels, 
not twenty or thirty miles an hour, but twenty 
or thirty miles a second. Naturally this terrific 
speed makes a great friction as soon as the mass 
enters our atmosphere. The friction raises the 
meteor to white heat, when it is still seventy or 
eighty miles away from the earth, and we see the 
glow. Quite often the mass has been changed to 
a hot vapor before it reaches the surface of the 
earth." 

"Then how do we know it is made of iron or 
some metal, if none of them ever reach the earth?" 
asked Ruth. 

"I said 'quite often,' " replied father. "Though 
meteors seldom fall, wise men have many ways of 
finding out about these strange visitors, even if 
they turn to gas. But large meteors have fallen 
from time to time, and have taught us many things. 
The little stone in mother's bracelet is said by the 
Indians to have fallen in such a meteor. That is 
why it is called peridot; peri means 'from heaven,' 
and dot means 'a gift.' The Indians think the 
stone is a gift from above." 

"Do the Indians have stories about falling 
meteors?" asked Don. 

"A great many," replied father. "In one of our 
Western States there is a huge sandy hollow, about 
which the Indians tell many stories. They say 
that long ago a great fiery mass fell from heaven 
on that spot, with loud noises; they believe the 
mass is buried in .the earth. The wise men think 
that a huge meteor may have fallen there long 
ago; they suppose that the force and speed with 



NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 285 

which it was traveling may have sent it deep into 
the earth, and that this may have turned the rocks 
and earth around the place where it struck into 
sand. They have tried to dig down and find out 
what lies below the fine sand, but so far all that 
they learned with certainty is that a mass of rock 
is down at some depth, a rock so hard that any tool 
they have yet been able to make is very quickly 
dulled in the drilling process." 

"And has no one ever found a true meteor?" 
asked Don. 

"Yes, indeed!" replied father. "They have been 
found in many parts of the world, and in varying 
sizes. They are often surprisingly heavy. A 
scientist friend of mine has one that would easily 
be covered by mother's laundry basket. You would 
think that you could easily move it, Don, if you 
saw it lying in his laboratory, and you would wonder 
why the table on which it rests is built so strongly. 
But if you were to try to rock it ever so little, you 
would find that all of your strength is not great 
enough to stir it." 

"Tell us about comets, father," asked Ruth. 
"Are they like meteors?" 

"The head of a comet," replied father, "is prob- 
ably a company of meteors that have come near 
enough to the sun to feel its pull. As this crowd 
gets nearer and nearer to the sun, it travels faster, 
and throws off a vapor-like matter that we call 
the tail. Sometimes this becomes very long; the 
comet of 1843 had a tail two hundred million miles 
long." 

"Oh my!" gasped Ruth. "I should think the 
earth might get hit by such a long tail as that!" 



286 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"It has been hit more than once," laughed father. 
"Twice in the nineteenth century the earth passed 
through the tail of a comet, and came out not a 
whit the worse for the experience. We do not 
know surely, but it is thought the light of the tail 
may be electrical." 

"Will that comet ever come in sight again?" 
asked Don. "I'd like to see it." 

"Some comets," replied father, "make their bow 
to us quite regularly; others come back at very 
long intervals, while still others are so uncertain 
in their movements that no one can feel very sure 
when they will show in the sky, if they ever do." 

"Do comets always mean war and trouble?" 
asked Ruth anxiously. 

"No, indeed!" laughed father. "Such a belief 
is absurd, now that we know the nature of comets. 
You can understand how people, in the days before 
telescopes, and other fine instruments for study- 
ing our skyland neighbors had been invented, must 
have been startled by seeing such strange and 
brilliant visitors in the sky. It is no wonder they 
invented all sorts of fanciful explanations." 

"Now, father," urged Don, "do tell us about 
planets and stars." 

"To be sure I will!" cried father. "We must set 
Miss Ruth right on that point this minute!" and 
he smiled at his little daughter. "We do speak of 
Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, as 'the evening star' 
or 'the morning star'; but, as Don suggests, we are 
not quite correct in doing so. The four 'stars' that 
I named, together with Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, 
and the earth, are much more properly called 
planets. They do not shine with their own light, 



NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 287 

but merely with the light reflected from the 



sun." 

u 



'Are there just eight planets?" queried Don. 

"No," replied father. "The eight that I named 
are sometimes called the major which means the 
greater or more important planets. There are 
minor, or less important, planets, which are very 
much smaller. Some of them have been discovered 
recently, and are invisible to the naked eye. We 
need not think much about them just now." 

"Why is it that planets do not shine with their 
own light?" asked Ruth, who had been thinking 
hard. 

''Wise men think that innumerable small bodies 
circling around the sun united to form small planets, 
and in course of time some of these grew and grew 
larger by additional material gathered up in their paths. 
All of them move about the sun in nearly circular 
paths, and are kept there by gravitation, the same 
force that makes your ball or an apple fall. They 
are opaque bodies, and so cannot shine, except as 
they reflect the light thrown upon them. They 
differ, too, from the fixed stars, which seem to 
move either very little or not at all. 

"In reab'ty the so-called fixed stars travel with very 
great velocity and probably in straight lines. The 
stars are really suns many times larger than our sun, 
millions of miles from the earth, and from one another, 
and give us light on account of being changed into 
burning gases. The planets seem to wander among 
the stars; the word 'planet' means a 'wanderer.' " 

"What do people mean by the solar system?" 
asked Don. 

"The sun with its eight planets, and their moons, 



288 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



the comets, and the meteors that sometimes come 
near, make up the solar system," replied father. 

"No stars in the solar system?" exclaimed Don; 

"No stars in the. solar system," affirmed father. 




How a Planet and a Star Look 
in a Telescope. 



Diameter of .Sun, 864,000 miles 
Diameter of Earth, 8,000 miles 

It would take over ons hundred earths laid side by side to stretch across the 
diameter of the sun. 



C 

<U 




THE EIGHT PLANETS COMPARED IN SIZE 

"All the stars lie outside of this and are enormously 
farther away from us than the most distant member 
of our own group. An astronomer has said, 'to travel 
as fast as a ray of light which rushes through space at 



NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 289 

the fate of eleven million miles a minute, it would take 
about eight minutes to reach the sun, but to reach 
Sirius, the dog star, a bright star, and one of the 
nearest to the earth, it would take over eight years. 
And when we got there we could not land because it 
is thirty- three times brighter than the sun.' " 

"Nor is that all. Some stars are so far away that 
we do not try to tell their distance in miles. We 
say they are. so many 'light-years' away; that is, 
we mean that it requires years for their light to 
reach us." 

"Doesn't it make us feel little?" asked Ruth. 

"It certainly does!" agreed father. "That is 
just what the psalmist was thinking when he wrote: 

'When I consider . . . the work of thy fingers, 
The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?' " 

"Do you suppose people are living on any of the 
stars or planets?" asked Ruth. 

"Astronomers agree," replied father, "that the 
stars are so very hot that life cannot exist on them. 
As to the planets there may be a different answer. 
Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune are the most 
distant and are probably too hot for life. Mer- 
cury is so near the sun it is hard for us to be sure 
just what does happen there, but it is thought 
that the same side is always turned toward the 
sun. This must mean that the bright side is always 
very hot, while the dark side must be colder than 
we can imagine. We cannot be sure about Venus, 
either, as the surface is so bright it is difficult to 
find any marking that shows if the same side is 



290 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

turned to the sun always or not. Jupiter is sup- 
posed to be red-hot. Saturn is believed to be a 
mass of vapors and gases, whirling around at a 
most astonishing speed. It has ten moons, and a 
great belt of meteorites miles deep and many hun- 
dred miles wide. It is a safe guess that there is 
no life there." 

"That leaves Mars as the only chance," said 
Don, checking off on his fingers. "Is there life 
there?" 

"Again we cannot be certain," replied father. 
"It is thought that Mars cooled long before the 
earth, and that it has water and air. There _ can 
be seen on its surface a curious pattern of straight 
lines which many astronomers have thought to be 
canals made by inhabitants of Mars to carry 'water 
over the surface. Other wise men think any life 
on Mars is quite impossible." 

"I should think, with all the fine telescopes we 
have to-day, someone would be able to settle the 
question," said Don. 

"You must remember," said father, "that Mars 
never comes nearer than thirty-four million miles, 
and then only once in every fifteen or seventeen 
years. The best photographs that can be taken 
are very small, and so students must rely on the 
human eye, and it is very easy to disagree as to 
just what these eyes see." 

"Where did the stars get their names?" asked Ruth. 

"The Romans and the Greeks gave many of the 
names by which we know the stars," answered 
father. "Mars was named after the Roman war 
god. But long before ever Rome or Greece was 
known, the Arabs, the Chaldeans, and many others 



NEIGHBORS IN THE SKY 291 

knew the stars quite well. They traced out imag- 
inary figures in the heavens, from star to star, and 
told their tales and myths about them. You will 
like to look up some of these old tales, and then 
to find the stars in the sky and to know them by 
name. - Best of all, you will like to study the stars 
from the Bible, and to learn the splendid verses 
that tell of them. The starry host was well known 
to the writers of the Bible, and they were always 
calling the thoughts of the people to the splendor 
and the power of God as it was shown through the 
works of his hands in the heavens." 

"I know a fine verse to start off with," cried Ruth. 

" 'The heavens declare the glory of God; 

And the firmament showeth his handiwork/ " 

"I have another too," added Don. "It is in Job, 
and this is the way it goes: 

" 'Canst thou bind the cluster of the Pleiades 
Or loose the bands of Orion?' " 

"That's a fine one!" agreed Ruth. "Let us try 
to see how many verses we can find, and put them 
in a Bible star book." 

"A good idea!" said father, heartily. " 'The 
heavens shall declare his righteousness,' the Bible 
tells us, and I know of no more wonderful way of 
studying the glory of God than through his great 
lights, the sun, to rule by day, and the moon and 
stars, to rule by night." 

Something to do: 

i. Get a map of the sky for the season of the year at 
which you are studying this book. From this learn the 
names of the morning or the evening stars, and the 



2 9 2 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

brightest constellation. The first clear night, go out 
of doors after darkness has come and find these stars in 
the sky. 

2. If it is possible for you to do so, arrange for a visit 
to an observatory, to look at the stars through a telescope. 

3. Divide your class into groups, and let each group 
choose a constellation for their special study. Learn 
the story of its name. See if you can find a mention of 
the constellation in the Bible. Commit to memory 
these verses, or other verses about the stars. Plan a 
Star Night for your grown-up friends, to whom you 
will tell the star stories, repeat your star verses, and 
point out the stars in the sky. 

To learn: Psalm 104. 19; or Psalm 19. 1-6. 
To read: "Daisies," by Frank D. Sherman. 

Praise ye Jehovah. 

Praise ye Jehovah from the heavens; 

Praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: 

Praise ye him, all his host. 

Praise ye him, sun and moon ; 

Praise him, all ye stars of light. 

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, 

And ye waters that are above the heavens. 

Let them praise the name of Jehovah; 

For he commanded, and they were created. 

Psalm 148. 1-5. 



LESSON XXX 
A STORY OF THE ROCKS 

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? 

Declare, if thou hast understanding. 

Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? 

Or who stretched the line upon it? 

Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened, 

Or who laid the cornerstone thereof? 

Job 38. 



"WHO would like to ride with me to Blue Ledge?" 
asked grandfather one bright June morning, as he 
came upon Don and Ruth busy at work helping 
grandmother. 

"Oh, I would, I would," they cried at once. 

"I am going out in the farm wagon to bring a 
load of gravel to spread on the garden walks, and 
you may come with me," smiled grandfather. 
"Get the small shovels and a trowel from the tool 
house, Don, and we will get a sack or two of mold 
from Woody Knoll on the way back. You will 
be glad to have some for your new flower beds, I 
know," he said, turning to grandmother. 

"Indeed I will!" agreed grandmother. "And 
won't you bring a big box of sand from the cove 
for my rose cuttings, too?" 

"Nothing easier!" said grandfather, tossing a 
stout box into the wagon. "Ruth, you will find 
a tin bucket handy to use in helping us fill this!" 

In a very short time grandfather, Don, and Ruth, 
with tools safely stowed in the back of the wagon, 

293 



294 OUR WONDERFUL -WORLD 

waved a good-by to mother and grandmother and 
drove gayly out of the yard. Once they were well 
on their way, Don turned to grandfather, saying: 

"Grandfather, Ruth and I have been wondering 
about ever so many things this morning, and we 
have a hundred questions we would like to ask you." 

"As many as that?" asked grandfather, pretend- 
ing to be much troubled. 

"Perhaps not quite a hundred," grinned Don, 
"but certainly a great many." 

"Let us have them, one at a time," said grand- 
father, "and we will try to find the answers." 

"You know," began Don, "that Ruth and I 
spent ever so long gathering nice, round pebbles 
to make into borders for grandmother's flower beds. 
We want to know why they are so round and 
smooth. They look as if they had been polished." 

"They have," said grandfather, quietly. 

"Why, grandfather!" cried Ruth in surprise. 
"We picked them every one along the side of the 
creek just two or three days ago! When could 
they have been polished?" 

Don, catching the twinkle in grandfather's eye, 
shook his head. "Grandfather does not mean just 
what you think, Ruth," he said, "but I do not 
understand what he does mean." 

"Let me ask you a question or two," returned 
grandfather. "Did you ever go up the creek, 
beyond the place where you gathered your pebbles?" 

"Oh, yes," said Don. "We went a long way up 
in_the spring when we were trout fishing with father." 

"Are the pebbles on the upper banks just like 
those that you picked up?" 

"There are few pebbles along the upper banks," 



A STORY OF THE ROCKS 295 

said Don, slowly, as he tried to recall just what 
the stream looked like. "The farther up, we went 
the bigger the rocks were." 

"What is the difference between a rock and a 
pebble?" asked Ruth. "Isn't a pebble just a little 
piece of rock?" 

"Oh, grandfather, I believe I can answer that 
myself!" cried Don. "A pebble is a little rock, and 
a bowlder is a big rock; is that right?" 

"Quite right!" agreed grandfather. 

"How big is a bowlder?" asked Ruth. 

"About as big as a well, about as big as one 
of those nice little melons we had for breakfast, I 
should say," ventured Don. 

"Ho, ho, ho!" laughed grandfather. "That is 
a very good way to remember! And what will 
you say about pebbles? When does a bit of rock 
get too small to be a pebble?" 

"If it is smaller than a pebble, it would be why, 
it would be a grain of sand," said Don, after a 
minute's thought. "Some sand is pretty coarse, 
grandfather! How would it do to say that pebbles 
are not bigger than the peas Ruth shelled for 
dinner?" 

"Peas and melons pebbles and bowlders!" cried 
Ruth. "I can remember that!" 

"Yes, indeed!" said grandfather. "Sometimes we 
call small bowlders, those that can be lifted with 
one hand, cobbles, or cobblestones, but you will 
get on very well in your talk of rocks if you recall 
pebbles and bowlders/ Let me ask you another 
question: Why are the bowlders on the upper parts 
of the creek and the pebbles on the lower? Wait 
a minute, and I will ask you still another question. 



296 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Why is there only sand in this cove, with the peb- 
bles all a half-mile higher up? Why is the meadow 
a mile below fine soil, much finer even than this 
sand?" 

"No fair, grandfather; no fair!" cried Don. 
"You told us, 'one question at a time,' and you 
have asked two or three!" 

"So I did!" laughed grandfather. "But I think 
I will not take any of them back, for one fact pretty 
nearly answers all of them. Before we get out to 
fill our box with the sand look up and down the 
creek; see how the water runs; think hard about 
it, and I am sure you will be able to study out for 
yourself the reason for the sizes of pebbles you 
find in the different places," And grandfather 
climbed down from his seat and began to pile up 
the sand with his big shovel while Don and Ruth 
filled their pails time after time and emptied them 
in the box, till it was quite full. As they took their 
seats to drive on again Don asked, "Grandfather, 
are there more pebbles down below because the 
pebbles are smaller, and the water can carry them 
farther?" 

"Exactly!" agreed grandfather. 

"And the sand 'is lower down the stream because 
it is lighter than the pebbles!" added Don. 

"But the mud is lighter than the sand," said 
Ruth, "so it is carried still farther!" 

"The creek is wider here in the cove, and the 
water runs slowly. Has that anything to do with 
the dropping of the sand at this place?" asked Don. 

"Indeed it has," said grandfather. "The nar- 
rower a channel is, the faster will the water run. 
The faster the water runs, the more it can carry. 



A STORY OF THE ROCKS 297 

If we were to confine the water of the creek at 
the cove into a smaller space, it not only would 
not leave that nice bed of white sand for our use 
but it would carry down ma-ny of the pebbles that 
it dropped before it came around the bend. But 
here we are at Blue Ledge." 

"What a queer-looking rock!" cried Don, leap- 
ing to the ground, and laying his -hand on a great 
blue-gray mass that towered many feet above the 
roadway. "Why, Ruth, look! It is all in layers; 
you can pick bits of it off." 

"It looks like our blackboard at school," said 
Ruth, as she fingered some of the thin flat bits, 
with their sharp edges and corners. 

"It is much the same as your blackboard," agreed 
grandfather. "It is slate, of a common sort. One 
of its oddities, but one which makes it very useful, 
is that it can be cut in thin flat sheets, and made 
very smooth." 

"Oh, that is why people use it for roofing and 
for blackboards," cried Don. 

"But I shouldn't think it was good at all for 
walks!" declared Ruth, looking down at the mass 
of sharp-edged little pebbles on which she was 
standing. 

"Why not, Ruth?" queried grandfather, smilingly. 

"Look at all these sharp edges!" exclaimed the r j 
little girl. "They won't hurt my strong play-shoes, ' 
but just think of mother's walking on them with 
her kid slippers, or grandmother's going down the 
walk in her pretty black satin pumps! They will 
be ruined!" 

"Do you remember how the gravel on the walk 
looks?" asked grandfather. 



298 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"Those pebbles," asserted Ruth, "are not like 
these at all; they are all rounded on the edges; 
they can't cut shoes." 

"Perhaps they have been polished," twinkled 
Don. 

"They have," answered grandfather, "and in 
much the same way that your bigger pebbles were 
polished." Then, as he saw the puzzled look on 
Don's face, he added: 

"It is quite a riddle, isn't it? Come and I will 
show you how it is done." And following a winding 
road, grandfather led the way around the ledge 
and down to its very foot, where a lovely little 
lake continually washed the mass of gravel that 
had fallen from the rock. Don stooped to run his 
hand through the gravel. 

"Why, these pebbles are smooth, as smooth as 
if polished!" he cried. "I see," he added, quickly. 
"Ruth, the water moves them back and forth on 
each other, and all the rough edges are smoothed 
off!" 

"Right!" agreed grandfather, beginning to fill 
the sacks with the smooth pebbles. "The rough 
gravel at the top of the cliff may some day be as 
smooth as this is now. You can imagine how it 
has been made water ran into the cracks of the 
rock, and froze in the cold of the winter-time. The 
ice and frost cracked off bits of rock. This goes on 
in every cold season. By and by the mass of gravel 
gets so heavy that it slides down. Heavy rains 
help to wash it into the lake. The waves, playing 
back and forth on it, polish the pebbles by push- 
ing them on each other. Even on a quiet day like 
this there is some wave action, but at times when 



A STORY OF THE ROCKS 299 



the winds are high the waves are much stronger, 
and the polishing goes on pretty fast." 

"The creek pebbles are polished in the same 
way, then," said Ruth, "only they rolled against 
each other and the big bowlders too, as they moved 
down -the stream." 

Grandfather agreed. 

"The bowlders are being made into pebbles, the 
pebbles are being made into sand," said Ruth, 
"is the sand being made into anything else?" 

"Why, of course," Don almost shouted, as the 
truth suddenly flashed on his mind. "The sand 
is being made into clay and mud and silt. Is all 
soil made of rock, grandfather?" 

"Think a minute and answer your own question," 
was grandfather's reply. 

"The Indians taught the Pilgrim Fathers to put 
a fish in each hillof corn for fertilizer," said Ruth. 
"Haven't animals helped a great deal in making soil, 
grandfather?" 

"Indeed they have," said grandfather. "Our 
soils would lack much of their richness if they had 
not been helped by animal life. There is another 
important contribution to soil making that I will 
show you when we get to Woody Knoll." 

"Oh, 'humus!' " cried Don. "That was another 
question I was going to ask!" 

A short distance from Blue Ledge was a rough 
rocky knoll or low hill, covered thickly with trees. 
Grandfather thrust his shovel into the soft earth, 
cutting away a section to show the layers of which 
it was made. Don flung himself down to look closely. 

"Dead, dry leaves from last summer on top," 
he said. "Then there are leaves almost all decayed; 



300 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

next, fine black soil. Below that, the soil is partly 
black and partly sandy." 

"The decayed vegetable matter is the humus," 
explained grandfather. "Where you find the mix- 
ture, the humus has been carried down into the 
fine sand. What comes below the sand?" 

"The sand gets coarser and coarser till it is 
almost gravel," replied Don. 

"That is the subsoil," said grandfather, "and 
if we went down deep enough, we would by and by 
come to rock of one kind or another, according to 
the locality in which we might be digging." 

"How were the rocks made in the first place, 
grandfather?" asked Don. 

"That is a question that men asked a great many 
years, and they looked for the answer a long time. 
Hard study and hard thinking have made it plain, 
but it will take you a long time to understand all 
about it. One way in which rocks were made was 
through the action of water. You may call such 
rocks water rocks. Other kinds of rock were the 
result pf great heat; they are called fire rocks. 
Both water and fire rocks have often been acted 
upon by pressure, or heat, or wearing away and 
building up by water, and, quite properly, they are 
called by a name that means changed rocks." 

"Did it take a very long time?" asked Ruth, 
wonderingly. 

"Yes, a very long time," replied grandfather. 
"Someone has said it takes a million years to make 
a grain of sand. Some people suppose that the 
earth was much longer in taking form. We cannot 
be sure, nor does it make much difference. You 
know the Bible says, 'a thousand years in God's 



A STORY OF THE ROCKS 301 

sight are but as yesterday when it is past.' The 
important thing for us to remember is that the 
building up and the wearing down of the rocks, 
the slow making of the soil, are all the work of God's 
hands. It is a part of the orderly working out of 
his great plan." 

Something to do: 

1. Explain what part animals, trees and plants, and 
running rivers have had in making the earth. 

2. Climb a hill with your teacher or some grown-up 
friend, and ask him to explain to you how the hill came 
to be there. 

3. Make a collection of river-polished pebbles. 

4. Make a collection of small pebbles, sand, and silt 
or clay. Put a small amount of each in a glass, and 
cover with water. Stir the contents of each glass thor- 
oughly. Note in which of the glasses the water "settles" 
or clears most quickly. Why is this so? 

5. Try to find a place where a cellar is being made, 
or a hill is being cut down to make a road. Look at the 
soil, and see how many varieties you can find. 

6. Watch a streamlet after a rainstorm, and see how 
many things you can prove for yourself about the carry- 
ing and carving power of running water. Is it the water 
that does the cutting? Is the cutting done by the sand, 
pebbles, or other material that the water carries? Can 
you prove this? 

7. Read Psalm 147. 5. Does this seem to you a fine 
verse to sum up the wonders of earth-making by God's 
hand? 

To learn: Psalm 104. 1-9; or Isaiah 40. 12. 

To read: "The Wonderful World," by William Brighty 
Rands. 



LESSON XXXI 

WATER AND ICE 

He sendeth out his commandment upon earth; 
His word runneth very swiftly. 
He giveth snow like wool: 
He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. 
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: 
Who can stand before his cold? 
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them. 
He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters to flow. 

Psalm 147. 15-18. 

"GRANDFATHER," said Don one day, "how did 
that .great rock ever come to the middle of your 
big meadow? There is not another rock of any 
size in sight within several miles." 

"It was brought there by the ice," answered 
grandfather. 

"By the ice!" gasped Don, in amazement. 

"Many, many years ago," replied grandfather, 
"more than half of the north temperate zone was 
covered with a great mass of ice. This ice, moving 
down slowly, carried with it great bowlders, which 
were dropped here and there as the ice melted. 
The big rock in the meadow is almost surely one 
of them." 

"Where did the ice come from, grandfather?" 
asked Ruth. 

"From the vast quantities of snow that fell," 
answered grandfather. 

'I thought you said it was ice," objected Ruth. 

'The glaciers were formed of ice that came from 

302 



"] 

fir 



WATER AND ICE 303 

the snow," responded grandfather. "Do you remem- 
ber what happened to your snowballs last winter, 
when you kept packing and pressing them in your 
hands?" 

"Oh, yes," said Ruth. "They grew hard and 
almost as solid as ice." 

"Almost the same thing happened in these old 
glaciers," went on grandfather, "as men can tell 
by studying glaciers to be seen to-day. The snow 
on top is light and fluffy, and in separate flakes. 
As the amount of snow increases, its weight presses 
on that below and begins to pack it. Then the 
snow is grainy, like sand. As the weight of snow 
above grows greater, the grainy kind turns to ice, 
clean, clear blue ice. You can see that bowlders, 
rocks of smaller size, sand and earth that fall from 
cliffs and ledges on the ice, will be carried along 
with it until the ice melts and drops its load. That 
is how our big rock came to be planted in what is 
now our meadow." 

"But, grandfather, what happened that the ice 
melted? Or what happened before that, that the 
glaciers were made? We do not have them now," 
said Don. 

"That is quite true," agreed grandfather, "and 
many people have puzzled over the fact and tried 
to account for it, though no very satisfactory 
explanation has ever been given. It is probable 
that ages ago the climate was different over this 
region. However that may be, there is little doubt 
that the glaciers did their work; we can see many 
sure traces to prove that this is so." 

"What was their work?" asked Ruth with much 
interest. 



304 



OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 



"The answer is a very long one," said grand- 
father. "To put it in the shortest possible form, 
it was to make the earth ready for God's creatures 
to live on it. It was to make the earth richer and 
lovelier. The glaciers smoothed down mountains. 




HALF DOME, YOSEMITE VALLEY 
The Glaciers Plowed Out' This Valley and Polished Its Sides. 

They built up hills. They carved out lakes. By 
rearranging drainage they forced rivers to seek new 
channels. Often these channels ran over rock 
ledges that had been buried under the masses of 
earth carried by the glacier. When the river cut 
down through this to the rock, the rock wore away 
more slowly, and so falls and rapids were made, 



WATER AND ICE 305 

and man was supplied with the water power for 
his factories." 

"What happened to all the people living when 
the glaciers came?" asked Ruth, anxiously. 

"Undoubtedly there were fewer people on the 
earth in those days than there are now," replied 
grandfather, "but we know man was living then, 
for his stone tools have been found in the glacial 
gravels. The corning of the glacial age was prob- 
ably slow, and no doubt man retreated from it, 
and went to the south where he found a warmer 
place to live. Animals probably did the same. 
Plants would tend to push to warmer climates also, 
but more slowly than animals that could move 
as they wished. When the ice began to melt, 
plants that love the cold would have to follow it, 
or begin to grow up the sides of mountains. There 
is little question that the explanation for some of 
the big puzzles in plant and animal life is found 
in just this fact." 

"Glaciers are makers of icebergs too, are they 
not, grandfather?" asked Don. 

"Yes, whenever they extend to the ocean," replied 
grandfather. "In Greenland and in Alaska, for 
example, the weight of the snow pressing forward, 
and the natural slide of the glacier down the slopes 
press it out over the sea. Here, by the action of 
the waves dashing against it, and partly, too, by 
its own weight, great masses of ice are broken off 
from time to time, and go floating away like a huge 
palace or mountain of ice. It was an iceberg so 
formed on the Greenland coast that sunk the great 
Titanic a few years ago." 

"What happens to the bergs finally?" asked Ruth. 



306 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"They float along on the ocean currents till they 
are carried into warmer regions and melt and dis- 
appear," said Don. "What happens to the melting 
ice when the glacier is not on the seashore, grand- 
father? Does it form a river?" 

"Yes," replied grandfather, "and there is one 
odd thing about such streams that is so marked 
you never forget it, once you have seen it that 
is the color, which is a curious milky shade. Can 
you guess what makes it?" 

"It must be something that the stream carries 
with it," suggested Don. 

"Yes," agreed grandfather, "it is the sediment, 
which is made up of fine particles of fresh rock 
that has never been weathered. These rocks are 
generally white in color, and so the particles make 
the river look milky. It is one of the most striking 
things about the streams in the Canadian Rockies, 
which you will see for yourself some day, I hope." 

"Glaciers are mills that grind up earth-flour," 
said Ruth, "and the rivers carry the flour down 
from the mountains and put it where it can be used." 

Grandfather smiled at the little girl's fancy. 
"That is one way of telling the work of the glaciers," 
he said. "It has been going on for more years 
than we can count. The rivers carry not only the 
sediment given them by the ice, but much that 
they pick up along the way, from the banks through 
which they flow and the soil carried into them by 
smaller streams. Tell me what becomes of all 
this fine sediment, Don." 

"It must be dropped by the river somewhere," 
said Don, thoughtfully. "But I am sure this won't 
happen until the river begins to run quite slowly, 



WATER AND ICE 307 

and that will be why, that must be away down 
toward its lower end, just before it runs into the 
sea, in most cases." 

"That is true," agreed grandfather, "and I am 
sure you will think it very curious when I tell you 
that some rivers have built up their beds so high 
at or near their mouths that the river is really 
higher than the level ground about it!" 

"Oh, I should think it would run over and flood 
the land!" cried Ruth. 

"It does sometimes," agreed grandfather, "and 
it would do so much oftener if men had not built 
artificial banks to keep the river in place. There 
are parts of the Mississippi River that are so much 
higher than the country around that if you are 
to take a steamer for a trip you do not go down to 
the river, but you climb up to it!" 

"I saw a picture of that just the other day," 
cried Don, "but I thought it was a made-up pic- 
ture, like the ones of the big fruit or the huge fish 
that are made for jokes!" 

"No, indeed!" said grandfather. "Rivers are 
strange and powerful forces, and one cannot tell 
at once all the queer facts about them. Do you 
know that rivers sometimes get lost, and that 
some rivers are really upside down?" 

"Oh, grandfather, what do you mean?" asked Ruth. 

"There are rivers in the dry regions of our coun- 
try that start out from the mountains as does any 
ordinary river, but when they get down into the 
sandy places, they just disappear; they are really 
lost as far as you and I can tell. The water has 
run down through the sand, and it probably finds 
its way to underground reservoirs," 



308 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

"And the upside-down rivers, grandfather?" 
prompted Don. 

"Where is the sandy bed of a river with rela- 
tion to the water?" asked grandfather, with a 
twinkle. 

"Why, under the water, of course!" cried Ruth. 

"And what would happen to you if you fell into 
the river?" asked grandfather. 

"Why, I'd get wet!" laughed Ruth. 

"Then if I should take you to a river whose 
sandy bed is over the water instead of under it, 
and show you that you would not get wet, but 
hurt, if you fell in, you would think, it fair to call 
that an upside-down river, wouldn't you?" 

"Yes," agreed Ruth, "but are there any such 
rivers?". 

"Indeed, there are, in some parts of our own 
country," asserted grandfather. "If you go to 
get water from such a river, you take a shovel, 
and dig a hole in the sand. After a time, the water 
creeps up into the hole, but you will never find it 
unless you dig for it!" 

"I think I like our own shining right-side-up 
rivers best," said Ruth. 

"Grandfather, I have been thinking of those lost 
rivers," said Don. "Do they never get found again?" 

"Sometimes, yes," answered grandfather. "Such 
streams may run underground for a long distance, 
till they strike a layer of rock through which they 
cannot pass. Such a layer may be tilted up till it 
comes to the surface of the earth in places, and the 
water may follow the tilt and come pouring out." 

"Oh, then we'd have a spring!" cried Don. "I 
never thought of that!" 



WATER AND ICE 309 

"Yes, and suppose the rock that the water fol- 
lowed happened to be heated rock?" asked grand- 
father. 

"The spring would be a hot spring," said Don. 

"Quite right," agreed grandfather, "and if it 
chanced that the rocks were hot enough to make 
the water boil, and that the opening was small 
enough to give some pressure, the spring might 
throw out its contents with much force, and we 
would have a geyser, such as is common in Yellow- 
stone Park. You remember you have a number 
of pictures of these geysers that Uncle Will sent 
you." 

"I mean to see the geysers some day," declared 
Don, "and the Grand Canyon, too. Is that really 
the work of water, grandfather?" 

"So the wise men tell us," replied grandfather. 
"For thousands of years, the river has been work- 
ing away at cutting down the rocky walls, till its 
channel is now a mile or more below the surface. 
You see what can be done by keeping always at it!" 

"What a long time it has taken to make our 
earth, and how many tools have been used in do- 
ing it!" said Don. "Glaciers and rocks, water, ice, 
snow, frost, all have helped, haven't they?" 

"Yes, God has used them all," replied grand- 
father. "His plans are wonderful, and we, as we 
find them out bit by bit, feel as did Job, when he 
said: 'Behold God is great, and we know him not. 
The number of his years is unsearchable.' " 

Something to do: 

i. Find a copy of the National Geographic Magazine 
for June, 1926, and read the story of the icebergs. 



3io OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

2. Copy a map of the United States and Canada, and 
mark the parts that are thought to have been once cov- 
ered by ice. Ask your teacher to tell you how the rivers 
emptied into the ocean before the Ice Age, and trace 
those ways with a red crayon. How did the coming and 
going of the Ice Age change the rivers? 

3 . Find a stream that has carried away the earth from 
the sides of its channel. If possible, follow the stream 
till you come to the place where this material was de- 
posited. Is it in a pool or shallow place? Take a shovel 
and cut down through the deposits as far as you can, 
and write carefully in your notebook just what you see. 

4. If you are a city child, it may be difficult for you 
to carry out Number 3. In that case, try to pile up a 
heap of sand in a shallow box in the schoolroom or on 
some concrete floor. Provide some way of caring for 
the water, so that it will run off without harming any- 
thing, and then sprinkle gently and plentifully your 
sand. You may learn some very interesting lessons as 
to how water carves hills and carries earth materials 
by doing this! 

To learn: Job 36. 26. 



LESSON XXXII 
COUNTING UP: A REVIEW 

The earth is Jehovah's and the fullness thereof; 
The world, and they that dwell therein. 

Psalm 24. i. 

FOR many weeks now we have been thinking 
and studying about the great Wonder-world in 
which God has put us. This last lesson will be a 
good time for us to count up some of the things 
we have learned. 

You know we have talked of the creatures of 
God's world as neighbors. What does that mean? 
If you will go to the dictionary, you will find out 
that "neighbor" once meant "near-dweller," the 
people who live not far from you. Do you think 
it means more than that now? How did the word 
come to have a fuller meaning than just the place 
where people live? If you think a moment, you 
will remember what Jesus said about neighbors 
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." What 
a truly happy and wonderful world it will be when 
all of us learn to do that! 

Of course when Jesus told us to love our neigh- 
bors as we love ourselves he was talking about 
men and women neighbors, and boy and girl neigh- 
bors. But I am sure that he meant more than 
that too. Jesus loved the flowers, and spoke of 
the lilies and the grass. He talked of the foxes 
and the birds. He said that not even a little sparrow 
fell to the ground that God did not know of it. 

3" 



3 i2 OUR WONDERFUL WORLD 

Are you not very sure that Jesus wishes you to 
treat with kindness all of God's creatures? Do 
you not feel very certain that it is a part of God's 
will for you to know all that you can about the 
strange and interesting creatures he has made as 
helpers in preparing and keeping the earth as a 
beautiful home for everyone? 

Let us begin our counting up by naming some 
of the creatures that we often forget, and by tell- 
ing what they do for us that they should be called 
our "neighbors." 

What facts about "back-yard neighbors" did you 
learn for the first time in this class? What new 
facts have you learned since you read those chap- 
ters in the first section? Which of these neigh- 
bors (do you think is the most helpful? Which is 
the most interesting? Which do you know best? 
Which Bible verses about these neighbors do you 
like best? Why? 

How many feathered friends have you made 
since you began to study these lessons? What is 
the most interesting story you have about one of 
them? How many pictures can you show of their 
work as good neighbors? Repeat all the Bible 
verses about birds that you know. 

Tell the story of your garden. What was the 
first neighbor you met there this season? Perhaps 
your garden was only as big as a single tin can. 
Perhaps it was even smaller. I once had a lovely 
garden planted in six half-egg shells, and it was 
great fun to care for it, and to watch it grow. If 
you have had such a garden, perhaps you mean 
now to introduce some sick child, or some lonely 
shut-in to your neighbors, and help to know a 



COUNTING UP: A REVIEW 313 

flower or a plant as a friend! See if this is not just 
the very best of fun! 

Of all your four-footed friends, which one do 
you think is the strongest? the most interesting? 
the most useful? How many new four-footed 
friends have you made this year? Write a story 
about one of them. 

Have you tried to draw pictures of some of the 
skyland helpers? It is great fun to make a "cloud 
census." You must watch the clouds every day, 
and then with chalk laid on the side, or with a 
soft pencil on paper, try to copy some of the shapes, 
and then name them. You will soon have a rare 
and valuable collection of cloud friends. Perhaps 
you may like better to try coloring the pictures with 
water colors; and if you do not satisfy yourself the 
first time, or the second time, or the third time you 
try, then recall the old verse, and "try, try again!" 

Now, we have said a good deal about what our 
neighbors do for us. What can we do in return 
for our neighbors? We surely will never be quite 
happy to be takers always and givers never! Of 
course it is absurd to think we can make returns 
to some of our neighbors, such as the clouds, for 
example; but we can do better, we can make returns 
of thanks and praise and loving wonder to the 
Father who gave us these helpers. We can let 
every sight of them take our thoughts to him. 
We can look sharply for ways in which each of 
us may make the world a little more beautiful, a 
little more comfortable, for others. What can 
you do, just where you live, and with just what 
you have, to show that you are as good a neighbor 
to others as you have found others are to you? 



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